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sun-online-14-12-18

SUN ONLINE, DECEMBER 14, 2018
COVERAGE FOR TESCO

FESTIVE BASH: Brits will make it through to 12:40pm before their first Christmas Day ding-dong, study says

The anxiety of cooking will leave many hosts worried about having an EastEnders-style row at the table

The average Brit will reach boiling point by 12.40pm this Christmas Day.

Researchers from Tesco have taken a look into Christmas in 2018 and found Brits who are hosting will have an average of SIX people for lunch, including one veggie or vegan, two fussy eaters and someone on a strict diet.

And more than one in three hosts admit the thought of cooking for everyone’s needs this Christmas Day is already sending them into a panic.

It’s no wonder, considering 14 per cent of us will have to cook a veggie option, one in twenty will be forced to knock up a vegan dish – and a further one in twenty will have to offer up a gluten-free option as well.

The average host will reach boiling point by 12.40pm this Christmas Day, due to the stress of having to serve up two or THREE options for the main meal.

Other things already sending hosts into a state of anxiety include the possibility of an EastEnders-style row at the dinner table, messing up the timings and roast potatos not being crispy enough.

Turkey is still the most popular choice for 64 per cent of hosts, as many as three per cent will be catering for a dairy-free guest, while a further three per cent will have to dish up something extra for those suffering from nut allergies.

The survey shows as many as one in ten wish they had never agreed to cooking this year, with 6 per cent losing sleep over it and 2 per cent even considering cancelling Christmas because of culinary concerns.

According to the poll of 1,500 Brits, the extra options mean an additional 33 minutes of cooking time as well as adding an estimated cost of £28.80 to every meal – a figure which increases amongst the young, with 16 – 29-year olds spending £36.90 on catering for others and an extra 41 minutes cooking.

Millennials will also cook three different meal options on Christmas Day.

As well as catering for family members with dietary requirements, another worry for one in three (34 per cent) is not getting the food ready at the same time, followed by a fear of food fire with burning dishes (25 per cent) and a serving up a late dinner, for 21 per cent of cooks.

Part of the nerves could be caused by the large number of chefs starting out for the first time. This year 18 per cent of people are cooking who have never “done” Christmas before.

Tesco has launched a festive menu service, The Festive Menu Helper, to help out at this testing time with suggestions on what type of starters, mains, sides and desserts to serve, from people catering for vegans and vegetarians, to people looking for some festive menu inspiration.

People can visit tes.co/FestiveMenuHelper, tell the Tesco app about their guests’ requirements and receive recipe suggestions and options for pre-prepared items.

The web app also offers a wine-pairing service which could be of assistance to the 83 per cent of the population who don’t think about what wine goes with what food, and the one in 10 who wish they knew more about how to match their wine to their food.

The new Tesco service is also shoppable, meaning people can add ingredients and dishes straight to their baskets, or print off a pre-made shopping list and take it into their nearest store.

Tesco Executive Chef, Martyn Lee, said: “Christmas can be a stressful time and this research shows just how many different tastes festive home chefs across the nation are catering for.

“With pre-prepared and scratch-made suggestions, our new festive menu creation service is designed to help people looking for inspiration on what to cook to keep all their guests happy, and hopefully help ‘designated chefs’ across the nation feel a little calmer come Christmas day.”