The Plate Of The Nation: How We’re Cooking Now

New Zealand men entertain at home more often than their female counterparts, recipe inspiration is increasingly found online, and we’d rather our meals have heart and soul than the precise ratio of fish sauce to sugar.

  • Men are twice as likely as women to entertain in their home once a week: 12 per cent do so
  • Men are far more likely than women to call themselves ‘adventurous’ … in the kitchen (24% vs. 15%)
  • Ten per cent of males describe their cooking style as ‘gourmet’ as opposed to 4% of women

These are just some of the bite-sized findings from new research commissioned by Fisher & Paykel, who are lifting the saucepan lid on our kitchen habits and splitting the nation into eight different ‘cooking styles’ via their newly launched “What’s Your Cooking Style?” Quiz.

The survey data not only reveals culinary differences between regions, sexes and life stages; but aligns with several international trends, including an emerging preference for recipe apps and instructional videos over cook books, and the ‘foodie revolution’, which is transforming takeaway addicts into home chefs with a different salt for every occasion.

Mark Elmore, Head of Design at Fisher & Paykel, says the results of the online survey conducted by Nielsen paint a fascinating picture of New Zealand society, as how we cook and eat is a reflection of how we live.

“For decades we’ve observed how real New Zealanders use their kitchens to design appliances that not only match each other, but any kind of home, family and lifestyle”, says Elmore.

“Our goal is to improve life through good design. Identifying cooking styles adds another layer of insight to help us do this, and the quiz is also fun and informative for anyone curious about their ‘kitchen personality’.”

By taking Fisher & Paykel’s ‘What’s Your Cooking Style?’ online quiz, curious home cooks can determine whether they are one of eight broad cooking styles: Perfectionist, Curious Novice, Trailblazer, Busy Baker, Freestyler, Professional, Weekend Gourmet and Magician.

The research also showed that:

Millennials love entertaining – nearly one-fifth (19%) of Kiwis aged 15-24 host friends “too many times to count”

Only fourteen per cent of Kiwis “never” entertain … and they’re likely to live alone

South Islanders are less likely to entertain frequently (more than once a month) than North Islanders

Sundays are for laundry and #mealprep

Over half (52%) of New Zealand cooks practice “a mix of planned and spontaneous cooking”

Those aged 25-39 are more likely than other cooks to menu plan for the week and do a big weekend shop

Households that earn $120,000 – $250,000 are most likely to use food delivery services such as My Food Bag

I like your [cooking] style

The most popular style is ‘made with love’: just under one-third (30%) of New Zealand cooks claim to pour their heart and soul into their cooking

Nearly one-quarter (24%) of New Zealand cooks self-identify as ‘busy’ – and feel their flatmates/family/partner should be grateful there is even food on the table

Young Kiwis (aged 15-24) are more likely than other age groups to consider themselves perfectionists


The top three sources of recipes are the Internet, friends and family and recipe books (equal on 54%)

Aucklanders consult the Internet, not Gran, to learn how to whip up a coq au vin – over half (56%) say it’s their go-to source for recipes

South Islanders trust Annabel Langbein over Epicurious – their main source of #recipeinspo is books

Off to market

Despite an ever-growing array of farmers’ markets, gourmet food stores and online delivery services, an overwhelming majority of Kiwi cooks (ninety four per cent) still prefer to hit up their local supermarket for groceries

Those aged 55+ are more likely than other age groups to have/grow their own source of ingredients (twenty six per cent)