Young people are evolving the traditional Sunday roast into a sharing phenomenon dubbed “Friendsgiving” – where guests bring different elements of the meal. A study of 2,000 adults found 60 percent of Gen Z now enjoy roast dinners as a collective – with everyone chipping in, rather than the host being burdened with everything.
This is far higher than 45-54-year-olds, among whom just 28 percent expect others to contribute to the meal.
The term “Friendsgiving” originates from the US, where friends often get together for an extravagant meal ahead of the official Thanksgiving family dinner.
But now, the trend is taking root in the UK, with 53 percent of 18-24-year-olds, already using the phrase “Friendsgiving” for a collective meal – as four in ten believe it is growing in popularity.
Top reasons a roast dinner is seen as such an inclusive choice include having something for everyone to enjoy (34 percent), and because it is easier to share than most meals (38 percent).
Aunt Bessie’s, which commissioned the research, has also created a quiz to find out what kind of roast dinner attendee you are.
By answering a selection of questions, you can find out whether you’re a “Laid-back Larry”, that lets the food gravitate to you, or a “Tidy-up Tina”, who gets involved at every stage to help out the host.
Andy Dale, from the brand, said: “The roast dinner has always been a meal that brings families together – but now, we’re seeing the next generation of roast dinner lovers use this meal to also catch up and connect with friends.
“Sometimes, it’s easy to roll through the weeks and months without coming together with those who are important to you. But our research has certainly shown there’s a desire to do this more around the dinner table, especially as we enter the colder, darker winter months.”
The study also revealed those already hosting roast dinners for their friends do so an average of five times a year, with five guests named as the ideal number of people to invite.
And 13 percent reckon the trend of “Friendsgiving” is likely to become a more common occurrence – while the same percentage believe it will evolve in the coming years, to include a fusion of cuisines.
When it comes to what goes on to the “Friendsgiving” dinner plate, roast potatoes reign supreme, with 34 percent saying it isn’t a roast without them. This is followed by the meat or alternative (21 percent), and Yorkshire puddings (14 percent).
The “Yorkshire Puds only go with beef” debate has also been settled, with 83 percent considering them a welcome addition to any roast, regardless of which meat is served.
And the study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that 67 percent of adults consider the roast dinner tradition – believed to date back to the 15th century – to be the best meal to bring people together.
Of those who don’t agree, 37 percent blamed the level of effort required to make the traditional Sunday dish, for putting them off.
Andy Dale, from Aunt Bessie’s, added: “Cooking a roast can sometimes feel like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be. We want to make the roast dinner experience as easy, relaxed, and tasty as possible.
“All our products are made to be cooked from frozen, which helps reduce the amount of time you’re in the kitchen – meaning more time to enjoy the day with friends.”
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