Gousto and food futurologist Dr Gaye investigated the current state of British dinnertime and what it might look like in 15 years time (2035) by surveying 3,000 UK adults.
Currently more than one third (35%) of Brits admit to having their evening meal on the sofa most nights. The research suggests this may become a ‘thing of the past’ by 2035 and eating alone will become less common.
Only 15% of those surveyed consistently enjoy screen free dinnertimes throughout the week. Some people not at a screen are at a desk (8%) or commuting home by train or tube (14%).
Dr Gaye predicts: “The future is about collective humanity. Kindness will be our main mode of behaviour. Dinner will be a collaboration as we share chores and skill-swap. Dinnertime will be a kind of simple, social occurrence, as friends, colleagues, acquaintances gather to share and eat.”
Technological advancements and health
Dr Gaye predicts that humans are on the brink of a ‘nutritional revolution’ which will result in people being fitted with “skin-embedded sensory devices” to calculate individuals’ optimum diet.
Research found that over one quarter (27%) of those surveyed repeat meals because they know they are healthy and 24% cited health as the main reason behind them choosing a meal.
Dr Gaye believes there will be an increased focus on personal health rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Dr Gaye, commented: “consumers are learning more about food waste and the power of upcycling, so we'll see some interesting applications of otherwise discarded ingredients. Local, as opposed to exotic, will have become the new watchword when it comes to food.
“People will be more concerned about food miles and the past damage that air-freighting and intensive farming has wreaked on the planet. So, the trend will move towards growing locally and buying seasonally from our collective growing groups, responsible producers, and even foraging for wild ingredients such as herbs, berries, mushrooms, nettles and garlic.”
He predicts that our bins will be equipped with sensors to measure our food waste and identify what needs replenishing from the fridge.
Currently 67% of UK adults cook from scratch using fresh ingredients on average 4.36 nights a week and almost one quarter of people plan their evening meal two or three days in advance.
Dr Gaye cited the biggest challenge would be the development of tasty, nutritious, synthetic food, indistinguishable from the real thing. He believes the ‘must have’ item of kitchen technology in 2035 will be a 3D food printer.
She concluded: “The future of dinnertime is both very simple and also more futuristic. It will involve more opportunity for sharing preparation, eating together and more of an attitude of mindfulness. But it will also employ advanced technology, self-monitoring health devices and completely integrated ordering interfaces.
“Technology and humanity will co-exist in a more assimilated way and the meals we eat will become more wholesome and will act as cherished moments of meaning."
Dinner times personalised to health benefits of UK families
Gousto piloted a range of new recipes, tailored to specific health benefits. The new Health Kitchen range will launch in January 2020 after it was reviewed and tested by over 200 customers.
Ellie Bain, Gousto’s in-house registered dietitian, added: “We understand that health is becoming increasingly personal. The ‘one size fits all’ approach to diet seems to be becoming a thing of the past, paired with a growing understanding that the food we eat directly impacts the way that we feel.
“There will be incredible technological advancements in this space over the next 15-20 years and as a food tech business we want to make sure that we are at the forefront of these changing behaviours.
“Our new Health Kitchen range is the first step on the journey of increasingly personalised health benefits and dietary preferences - we are making it simple for our customers to choose the recipes they want to create at home, based on the health benefits that they are looking for.”
Gousto is aiming to help busy families create nutritious meals from scratch by sending them ingredients and recipes directly to their homes.