In 2019, the majority of New Zealanders eat dinner in front of the TV, consume expired food and even feed their children with kai that has fallen on the floor.

It could be a sign of busy times and lives – and these are just some of the findings from the Empirica Research report, commissioned by Uber Eats, to find out ‘how Kiwis are eating’.

In fact, 70% of New Zealanders eat dinner in front of the TV at least once a week; 35% do so daily. Interestingly behaviour was overall more common among older New Zealanders, with almost half (46%) of those aged 55 and older reporting that they do this daily, compared to only 25% of those aged 18-34.

Almost three quarters of New Zealand adults have eaten food they know is expired (71%) or food that has fallen on the floor (62%).

More than half of New Zealand parents have let their children eat food that has fallen on the floor (52%). In comparison, 67% of parents have eaten food that has fallen on the floor themselves.

Cooking for need not pleasure

The report also reveals 41% of New Zealanders don’t enjoy cooking at home. In fact, only half of Kiwis say they cook at home everyday.

Furthermore, 56% reported “dreading” preparing at least one meal – while dinner was the most commonly dreaded single meal to cook (37%).

Convenience is king as people get busier

A large number of people are simply skipping meals with 49% skipping breakfast at least once per week, 39% missing lunch and 8% forgoing dinner at least once weekly.

However, it’s clear that convenience is king for hungry Kiwis and our changing food habits reflect this. Over a quarter of New Zealanders (29%) bring home takeaway food weekly, while 6% order food to be delivered direct from a restaurant and 7% order food to be delivered via an app or other online service on a weekly basis.

Food delivery is becoming more commonplace in New Zealand. Half (51%) of all Kiwis see delivery as a normal thing to do in 2019.

Simplicity is often a defining factor for Kiwis deciding to order in. More than a third (37%) said it was easier to have food delivered to their front door than cook their own meal.

Variety heats up

And what are Kiwis getting delivered? Pizza reigns supreme with 75% of those surveyed saying they’ve ordered it in. Other popular options include fast food restaurants (26%), Indian (25%) and Chinese (24%).

Uber Eats County Manager Andy Bowie says it’s clear the way Kiwis are eating is changing with the times.

“As people get busier and more dining options open up, people are starting to move away from the kitchen to make the most of their free time while enjoying a wide range of different foods throughout the week.

“It wasn’t long ago that pizza was pretty much your only delivery option. Now people have many different restaurants to choose from. It’s great to see that young Kiwis are especially keen on trying new types of food and cuisines.”

Healthy becomes mainstream

With variety comes more healthy options, which is good for the 45% of New Zealanders who choose foods based on their health credentials. One in 10 Kiwis surveyed (10%) say they tend to eat healthier when they order food delivery via an app compared to when they cook.

On the flip side, Kiwis do love to indulge from time to time. “Cheat meals” is something around a third of New Zealanders (32%) do at least weekly.

Uber Eats is available in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin. There are now more than 1,500 restaurants on the Uber Eats app across the country, offering a wide range of different foods for Kiwi consumers to try.