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US is passionate about food

News, 31 March 2015
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NEW YORK: Americans claim to be more passionate and knowledgeable about food than the French, a nation that traditionally regards itself as having attained something of a peak in culinary matters.

Researcher GfK surveyed over 27,000 respondents from the age of 15 to over 60 in 22 countries, looking at their passion and knowledge about food and cooking. The US ranked in the top third in both regards.

Some 35% of US respondents said they possessed great knowledge about food and cooking, compared to a global average of 29% and 21% in France.

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While the youngest age groups had a realistic assessment of their abilities – just 22% of 15-19 year olds in the US felt able to claim prowess in the kitchen – all the others ranked above the global average. The 30-to-39 age range posted a "remarkable" 47%, GfK noted.

Over one third of Americans (37%) also considered themselves passionate about cooking and food. Again, this exceeded the global average of 32% and the 24% registered by the French.

And, again, almost half (49%) of 30-to-39-year-olds in the US identified themselves as kitchen-passionate – among the highest scores of any age group globally.

By comparison, the least engaged with culinary matters were South Koreans (13% knowledgeable, 13% passionate) while the most knowledgeable were South Africans (50%) and the most passionate Italians (43%).

GfK highlighted some interesting knowledge/passion comparisons in the US: while 22% of 15-to-19-year-olds scored as knowledgeable, 31% regarded themselves as passionate. On the other hand, the 60+ group scored 32% for knowledge but a low 23% for cooking passion.

Such statistics may tell us more about the self-image of consumers in some countries than anything else. A more objective measure might be the average time spent in the kitchen, with survey reporting a global average of 6.4 hours per week.

At just 5.9 hours, Americans – despite their avowed passion – were spending less than an hour a day in the kitchen. But their 50 minutes was still marginally more than the 47 minutes of the French. At the extremes were South Korea (3.7 hours) and India (13.2 hours)

Data sourced from Business Wire, GfK; additional content by Warc staff

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