Electrolux has conducted its second Asian Food Survey to gain better insights into the trends of food preparation and an understanding of Asians’ consumer motivations when it comes to food and dining. This is one of Asia’s largest food surveys.
Reaching out to over 4,000 respondents from across eight Asian countries, the online survey, developed and managed by Electrolux, comprised of a multiple-choice questionnaire that yielded some surprising results.
Asians prefer eating at home but many are unable to do so
Despite being a region well-known for great food that’s readily available through a myriad of hawker fare, street stalls and restaurants, most respondents would much rather enjoy a home-cooked meal in the comfort of their own homes. But the demands of work and friends means that in reality, well over half of them are still dining out at least once every two weeks.
The exception to this is in India, where nearly half of the respondents make the effort to lunch at home, as compared to the rest of their Asian counterparts, who because of limited time available, traffic and distance from work settle for an eatery within walking distance of their workplace.
Passion for cooking runs higher among men
The desire to dabble in cooking is still going strong, with Indians leading the way as the most passionate cooks in Asia, followed closely by the Indonesians, Malaysians and Filipinos. Thai and Chinese cooks however, are more likely to experiment with their cooking compared to cooks in other Asian countries. More than half of them are comfortable enough in their culinary skills to adapt dishes to their own personal taste or create new recipes themselves.
Though women have tended to take care of the home and kitchen, these days, a slight shift has taken place, with more Asian men spending time in the kitchen than women. Men are becoming connoisseurs of epicurean pleasures. Considered to be sensitive and metrosexual, men who cook are “in” and the kitchen appliances are now his “power-tools,” and a tantalizing meal is now his pet project.
It is also precisely these tools that make time in the kitchen so alluring to men nowadays. Sleek and stylish kitchen appliances create a classy and sophisticated environment that no man would mind being caught in, and the latest state-of-the-art in kitchen technology appeals to the tech- and gadget-savvy.
“In Asia, more people are spending time in kitchens to entertain, and as a hobby and passion. That is why at Electrolux, we feel it is necessary to design kitchens with the latest cutting-edge technology and thoughtful designer flair to fully enhance the cooking experience in every way possible for our Asian consumers,” says Suresh Balan, Head of Electrolux Major Appliances, East Asia.
Quality of fresh food is better than in the past
Countries with a greater wet market tradition are in agreement that the quality of fresh food is better than in the past. However, in countries that are modernizing quickly to compete as commercial and industrial hubs in the region, the figures are significantly lower.
The belief in the improvement of quality is also largely in sync with the improvement in food storage technology. As refrigerators get more sophisticated, food can be stored for longer periods and its freshness is preserved as well.
Health is a big concern
With health being a major concern in today’s society, almost all respondents emphatically believe that you can cook and eat your way to better health. Understandably, the vast majority of people worry about health when cooking a meal at home. Even when dining out, nearly nine out of 10 respondents were concerned with health issues.
Oil and salt are the two main sources of worry when cooking at home. The quality and quantity of oil used occupy the first two positions, respectively, with salt being a close third. As far as cooking methods go, deep fried food causes the most concern.
“Health is and always will be a huge concern in today’s society. That is why it is never far off our minds when we design our products, be it refrigerators for better and longer food preservation or cooker hoods that clear the air while cooking. We believe in providing only the best for our consumers,” says Marco Paracciani, Head of Product and Brand, Electrolux Major Appliances, Asia Pacific.