Making a meal of it: The comeback of the dinner party

March 17, 2021
  • Almost half (45 per cent) of Brits plan to host family and friends once safe to do so
  • 31 per cent have been inspired to cook recipes from TV and streaming services
  • Brits are investing in items to up their at-home dining experience game
  • 68 per cent of Brits say they prefer grocery shopping online

The pandemic has caused a revival of the dinner party with nearly half (45 per cent) of the nation gearing up for restrictions to lift and allow them to welcome friends and families back into their homes new research from Mastercard has revealed.

Spending the past year with limited contact with friends and family and plenty of time on Zoom, it’s no surprise that Brits are eagerly planning their next face to face get-togethers. The last year also saw the introduction of the ‘virtual dinner party’, with 15 per cent of people eating with friends or family online.

 With more time on their hands due to lockdown, almost two thirds (65 per cent) of Brits have been spending longer in the kitchen to learn new skills. This spare time has encouraged culinary confidence, with over half (58 per cent) of Brits experimenting with their cooking and recipes more often. The influence of TV, streaming services and social media has also contributed to inspiring many (31 per cent) to cook what they are seeing on screen.

With eating out restricted over the past year, Brits have been investing in items to up their at-home dining experience. Over a third (37 per cent) have spent money on cooking equipment such as new pots, pans and utensils, followed by candles (28 per cent) to create more ambience at home.

Jeannette Liendo, Senior Vice President Marketing, Mastercard Europe said: “It’s been a challenging 12 months, however it is reassuring to see positive trends emerging such as the culinary boom that is happening across Europe. Our core role is connecting people with the things that bring them joy. Ultimately, that’s Priceless.

Mastercard is offering a host of different Priceless experiences for cardholders, including an online doughnut tutorial giving your family the treat of freshly cooked treats without leaving your home, all available on

 The online grocery boom

The research reveals that almost a quarter of Brits (23%) started shopping online for groceries for the first time as a result of lockdown restrictions. The trend is set to continue with over two thirds (68%) of people stating they prefer the experience of buying their groceries online and over a third (37%) of first time online shoppers saying they will continue food  shopping online even once restrictions lift.  

The research by Mastercard also found that people are taking comfort in family favourite dishes, with the top three being a roast dinner, spaghetti Bolognese and shepherd’s pie. In addition, findings show that almost half of Brits (46 per cent) have improved their skills in the kitchen over the past year.

Top 10 comfort food dishes in the UK:

  1. Roast dinner (50%)
  2. Spaghetti Bolognese (43%)
  3. Shepherd’s pie (37%)
  4. Lasagne (35%)
  5. Bangers and mash (35%)
  6. Chili (34%)
  7. Fruit crumble (28%)
  8. Macaroni and cheese (23%)
  9. Loaf of bread (23%)
  10. Banana bread (20%)

– Ends –

Notes To Editors

Independent research company Fly Research questioned 19,000 adults across 19 countries in Jan/Feb 2021.

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