Nation’s Interest In Cooking Ignited

New research by the Stilton Cheese Makers Association highlights huge increase in cooking from scratch during lockdown across the country.

Key Findings:

  • Younger age groups are cooking more from scratch
  • Children are more engaged in cooking
  • People are much more likely to buy British produce and support UK farmers

Lockdown has had a positive effect on the nation’s cooking habits, according to new figures released today by the Stilton Cheese Makers Association (SCMA), which represents the UK’s Stilton® producers. Over two thirds (67%) of Brits are cooking meals from scratch more regularly since lockdown began in favour of eating ready meals and takeaways, with 61% trying new recipes and 60% looking at ways of livening up everyday meals.

This newfound enthusiasm for cooking rises to 76% among 18-24- and 25-34-year olds, and across the country it is those living in London and Northern Ireland leading the charge (77%).

Over half (59%) said that they were cooking more since lockdown began, with 40% saying there has been no change and just 2% are doing less. Encouragingly, the interest in home cooking is also being passed on to younger generations with 42% of households saying their children are also doing more cooking since lockdown began.

The research also reveals that during the current pandemic, 65% of British consumers are much more likely to buy British produce to support farmers and 55% are more likely to buy British cheese instead of French or Italian cheeses.

Commenting on the home cooking trend, Robin Skailes, Chairman of the SCMA and Director of family owned Cropwell Bishop Creamery, said: “Despite the frustrations of lockdown as we combat Covid-19, the upside is that we are all cooking more food from scratch, trying new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients. We are encouraging consumers to start using Stilton as a versatile ingredient which can inspire and brighten up everyday dishes – from soups to souffles, sandwiches to burgers.”

The trade body is urging consumers to buy Stilton® and other British cheeses during the coronavirus crisis as sales of Stilton® drop by up to 30% to support the industry and prevent producers going out of business. Stilton® is a unique British cheese which is rich and versatile, livening up mealtimes whether it is on a cheeseboard or in everyday dishes, helping consumers create inspiring recipes and support British dairy farmers.

Stilton® is the UK’s most popular blue cheese, which was first written about by Daniel Defoe in the early 18th century and now holds a unique status in British culture – it is the only cheese in the UK with a certificated trademark to protect its British heritage, so it can only be made following a time-honoured tradition. It was the first British cheese to be awarded the protected designation of origin status (PDO) giving it the same status as champagne.

To protect such an important part of the UK’s cheese-making heritage, the SCMA is calling on consumers to buy Stilton® rather than continental blue cheese, reminding them that it is as versatile as any blue cheese from France or Italy. Stilton® has a creamy texture and savoury flavour, which ensures it can be easily paired with a range of food and drink. Its subtle umami note creates inspiring dishes when it is used as an ingredient in your favourite recipe.

To find out more about Stilton and some inspiring recipe ideas, visit the SCMA’s website here

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