Press Centre

Brits waste over £30m in Christmas food disasters each year

It’s the most talked about culinary time of the year, but with just 29 cooking days left until Christmas day new research by Asda shows Brits are wasting a whopping £31m on festive cooking mistakes. 71% of us will attempt to make at least part of our Christmas dinner, but over one in five (22%) will end up making a mistake, throwing it in the bin and starting again or reverting to a shop-bought, ready-made option. An average family will waste £9 on ingredients this Christmas which only adds to shoppers’ last minute stresses.

Home cooking has never been more popular, but only a third of Brits (32%) say they will be preparing a full turkey dinner from scratch this year, with many of us scared of recreating the Yuletide horror stories of raw turkey, cracked mince pies and over-cooked Brussels sprouts. A whopping 40% said that if disaster does strike with their Christmas dinner, they will try to disguise the mistake as best they can and still serve it to their unsuspecting guests.

More than a quarter of shoppers (26%) say they don’t make all of their Christmas food from scratch as they don’t want to waste money if it goes wrong. The latest Asda income tracker shows that families now have £13 less to spend each week, when compared to 2010, which means that saving money at Christmas is becoming more important than ever before as shoppers simply can’t afford to waste money on festive cooking errors.

The research revealed the following about our Christmas dinner fears:

  • The top festive food mistakes are raw turkey, burnt mince pies, cracked Christmas cake and soggy roast potatoes
  • Nearly a third (31%) of Christmas cooks say that if something does go wrong they will get another family member or a friend to save the day
  • More than one in five Brits (21%) are most troubled by all things turkey related (including the bird, stuffing and gravy)
  • Over a fifth (28%) of Brits admitted that they will buy ready-made sauces to go with their turkey (bread sauce, cranberry sauce), whereas 21% will buy the Christmas cake and pudding
  • An ambitious 11% of Christmas cooks won’t buy anything ready-made as they always cook from scratch
  • A fifth of shoppers (19%) feel that ready-made alternatives taste better than anything they could prepare themselves
  • 16% of shoppers will go out to a restaurant or eat at someone else’s house rather than cook their own Christmas dinner

Pre-empting Christmas cooking waste and to save customers’ valuable cash at this time of year, Asda has partnered with world famous cookery school, Leiths, to create a series of hints and tips to restore Brits’ confidence in their Christmas cooking abilities. A series of videos are available to watch online and a downloadable 26 page booklet is also available on the Your Asda site for customers who feel they need a little bit of guidance while preparing their turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Gail Paddy, Product Development Director at Asda commented, “We’re delighted to be working with Leith’s to provide our customers with all the hints and tips that they need to make their Christmas dinner truly show-stopping rather than being thrown in the bin! We know how stressful it can be cooking the Christmas dinner for a houseful of hungry and excited people, and thanks to Leith’s hints and tips, not only can our customers be more confident in what they are preparing, but hopefully they can enjoy themselves a bit more too and save a bit of money!”

Posted in Press Centre on 26 November 2011