SuperValu’s Home Truths II Report

Can’t Cook? Won’t Cook? SuperValu’s Home Truths II report reveals we want to cook more but lack of time and cooking skills stand in our way

Young adults in danger of becoming a “Take-Away” generation

SuperValu’s Good Food Karma Project to ensure wholesome, delicious food is a force for building a healthier nation



  • As a nation we are big supporters of cooking from scratch, believing that it is the healthiest option; with 9 out of 10 of us saying it gives us control over what we eat
  • Yet 37% of under 34 years olds say they don’t cook from scratch out of pure laziness, 31% say they lack inspiration and 16% say they just don’t know how
  • 1 in 10 Irish adults never involve their children in cooking at home which is a concern, given the importance of cooking as a life skill as they grow into teenagers and adulthood
  • The report shows a real age divide when it comes to meal options and behaviour - with 18-24 year olds having above average weekly consumption of take-aways and fast food while over half of us have a takeaway at home at least weekly
  • Two thirds of Irish adults still sit together for dinner on a weekly basis and the Sunday Roast remains the weekly get together for 2 in 5

Friday 15th April 2015: The second annual SuperValu Home Truths II Report contains some encouraging and convincing evidence that, as a nation we really believe in the benefits of cooking from scratch, with virtually everyone saying that it gives them control over what is purchased, cooked and eaten, however, time and cooking skills are still cited as the deterrent for most of us.  

The SuperValu “Home Truths” II Report, which was developed in conjunction with Dr. Mary McCreery, consultant dietician nutritionist at Blackrock Clinic, Dublin, is an in-depth, annual report.   It was carried out by RED C with a random representative of over 1,000 adults aged 18+.


Scratch cooking – the national picture

The report unveils a real age divide in attitudes and behaviour towards cooking.  Nearly 60% of Irish adults over the age of 45 cook from scratch at least 6 times per week, with their younger counterparts finding cooking from scratch much harder – but less than 40% of those under 34 years managing to do so as often. This is despite acknowledging that it’s healthier to cook from scratch, with almost everyone of all ages believing that it is healthier (93%), and that it allows them control over the contents of their food (91%).

However other factors are at play too; 37% of under 34 years olds say they don’t cook from scratch out of pure laziness; 31% are looking for inspiration in what to cook and 16% say they don’t know how to cook. Cooking skills are a particular issue for the younger generation and the fact that only 10 per cent of adults cook with their younger children means that situation is going to get worse, not better.   

Nearly three quarters (71%) of adults under 34 also admit to having a take away at home at least once a week, if not more often - with 50% eating at least one meal from a fast food restaurant per week.   This compares to just 42% of those over 45, who have at least one take away at home per week and only 20% eating weekly in a fast food restaurant.

An emerging trend for these time-poor groups is cooking from scratch at weekends and freezing meals; with 82% of those under 34 saying it saves them time during the week.


Meal time patterns and behaviours 

Interesting behaviours in relation to weekly meal occasions were also revealed, with over 4 in 5 families with young children having a family dinner at least weekly. 

The Sunday Roast remains the preferred weekly get together for 2 in 5 of us, with almost a third of us (33%) trying to make the Sunday roast a little healthier.  However, less than half of us have a Sunday roast weekly with 1 in 4 having a Sunday roast less than once a month. 

 9 in 10 of us are having a cheat/treat meal every week - with takeaways the most popular (71%) and 42% saying it is their most popular cheat meal. Again, looking at the younger demographic, 84% of 18-34 year olds eat a takeaway as their treat/cheat meal while 62% of 35-44 year olds eat a ready meal as their cheat/treat meal. 


Perceptions and Misconceptions

The report had some interesting insights into misconceptions or perceptions of what constitutes a healthy meal – especially a healthy breakfast or a home cooked dinner, with some surprising results.     Again, there is evidence of an age divide here, with 18-24 year olds believing smoothies/cereal bars are healthier options for breakfast while those over 55 believe tea and bread/toast is the healthy way to start the day. At the same time, fruit, porridge and eggs top the list as healthy breakfast option in most people’s minds, though not reflected in their behavior. 

A “healthy dinner” also means different things to different people. 81% of adults believe that including fresh vegetables along with a balance of meat constitutes a healthy, home cooked dinner while 61% believe that it is a meal cooked from scratch (whatever the ingredients).  61% think its low in salt and 59% think it means a meal with no processed food or additives.

Commenting on the results of the Home Truths II report, Ray Kelly,  Marketing  Director at SuperValu said today: “The results of our latest Home Truths II Report proves that, as a nation, we universally believe in the principle of cooking from scratch with 93% of us acknowledging that it is the healthiest option.”

He continued: “Life is busy, but lack of time should not be a deterrent - we know that simple, nutritious meals are at the heart of a healthy diet and don’t need to take hours to prepare.  At SuperValu we are passionate about supporting further growth in home cooking which will help ensure the next generation is healthier than the last. We want to change people’s relationship with food by demonstrating the real benefits of good wholesome food and the fun and satisfaction that is gained from cooking. .”    

“Irish people have a great interest in food. We see people’s desire to eat better, healthier and cook more balanced, nutritious and different meals on the ground every day in our SuperValu stores across the country.  Customers are looking for inspiration, advice and guidance on what they can and should cook for their family and friends.    Our Good Food Karma Project is all about giving people the tools and skills to enable them do precisely that – from providing food inspiration ideas to simple advice on cooking skills – as again in the report there is evidence that lack of cooking skills is a real impediment, especially for the younger generation who haven’t grown up with scratch cooking.   We are calling on everyone to cook just one more meal at home every week – they can get inspirational advice and tips from our Good Food Karma ambassadors on line and in store to help them do just that”.

Commenting on the SuperValu “Home Truths II” Report, Dr. Mary McCreery, said today: “It’s really encouraging that there is almost universal appreciation that cooking from scratch is the healthiest option.   Despite the fact that most people believe time is an issue, in reality cooking a healthy mid-week meal is much easier than one might think; think nutritious easy to prepare meals like fish and stir fry vegetables or a nice steak with a salad.” 

Mary continued: “One surprising insight from the report is that one in 10 Irish adults never involve their children in cooking at home.   It is critical for our children, teenagers and young adults to have the cooking skills and an ability to plan and eat healthy balanced meals and get accurate information around what actually constitutes a healthy meal – as many misconceptions still exist, as today’s report confirms”.

Mary concluded: “It’s also great to see we still like to spend time together catching up around a Sunday Roast.  We have more time on Sundays, giving us a natural opportunity to try different dishes, explore more options across fish, different cuts of meat and new varieties of vegetables – to help keep both the interest and the taste buds alive!     And – keep it simple – it doesn’t need to be a three course meal – opt instead for a healthy main meal and fruit-based dessert - like stewed plums and poached pears - to get a healthy nutritious dinner that tastes really good at the same time”.

On the back of the Home Truths Report II released today, SuperValu has launched the Good Food Karma Project which is aiming to inspire the nation to get healthier and happier by cooking more meals from scratch. The campaign aims to ensure that wholesome, delicious food is central to future proofing the health and wellness of the next generation by providing a greater understanding of what really constitutes a nutritious healthy meal.