We recently conducted a survey of 1,000 households on family mealtimes, freezers and how we use them. Here's what we found:
Date: 14th August 2017
Thyme To Chill
Great British Freezer Survey Explodes Cliches
About How We Eat and Freeze
For years we’ve heard that families are eating together less and less; that we’re all crouching over our meals whilst watching the TV; and that we only use our freezers for chicken nuggets, fish fingers, ice cream and frozen chips and peas.
Well, two out of these three clichés are false according to the ‘Great British Freezer’ survey conducted by West Midlands based frozen meals supplier Thyme. 1000 families were surveyed across the nation to establish their instant reaction to six questions which sought to find more out about how we eat as families in modern Britain and how we use our freezers.
The results make it crystal clear that we really do like to eat together as families and that most of us don’t eat our main meal whilst watching the TV: whilst on the other hand we really do only use our freezers for a very limited range of food items.
The survey discovered that more than 9 out of 10 Brits sit down together to eat at least two or three times a week; only 20% of respondents claimed to prefer a TV meal to a more traditional family meal but, although 90% of people use their freezer at least once a week, only one out of ten use their freezer for anything beyond the staples of chicken nuggets, fish fingers, ice cream and frozen vegetables.
In addition there were a range of other discoveries:
Londoners and families in the South West are nearly twice as likely to spend more than an hour preparing their main family meal. Less than 1 in 10 respondents regarded value for money or cost as an important factor when preparing their family meal – the big factors were catering to everyone’s taste (53%) and the need for the meal to be nourishing (31%).
Only West Midlanders (40%) seemed to find speed of preparation an important factor and only 8% of respondents said they didn’t eat together because they didn’t want to. Unsurprisingly, it seems that the big barriers to us eating as a family are our busy lives (49%) and the fact that family members need to eat at different times.
Commenting on the results, Craig Tomkinson, who founded Thyme in February 2017 on a mission to turn the domestic freezer into a powerful tool for eating well, said: “At first we were perhaps a little depressed at some of our findings, particularly the fact that we store such a limited range of food items in our freezers. Even though we’re the first to acknowledge that there’s nothing wrong with fish fingers and ice cream, it’s just that our freezers can offer us so much more.
“On the other hand, we were delighted that so many people value their family meals together despite all the pressures of modern life. In fact one of the main reasons we set up in business was to provide good value, high quality frozen meals that really are as close to being home made as it’s possible to get, making sharing a family meal something people can enjoy more often.
“Perhaps the most encouraging result for us though, was that being able to cater for everyone’s tastes was the most important thing for families. The freezer is of course a brilliant way of achieving this. Our survey really does demonstrate why our Family Meal Boxes are proving to be top selling items.”