So the new season of MasterChef has arrived, complete with a cheeky culinary spin on an age-old theme — men versus women. The possibilities are downright delicious: kitchen knives hurled, heated exchanges over sizzling stoves, passions stoked by sinful desserts… or not. Could this gastronomic battle of the sexes turn out to be a storm in a measuring cup? Are men and women really that different in the kitchen? Roy Morgan Research reveals all…
The foodie factor
Given our reputation as a sporting nation, it may come as a surprise to learn that more Australians love cooking than practising sport. While 28% of us love to do as many sports as possible, more than double that amount (62%) love to cook — 67% of women and 57% of men, to be precise. Compare that to the 21% of women and 34% of men who love doing sport, and MasterChef could be onto a winner.
When it comes to talent in the kitchen, women appear to have the advantage: 57% agree with the statement ‘People often compliment me on my cooking’, compared to 42% of men.
Among MasterChef fans, these percentages shoot up. As of December 2012, after the last ‘non-professional’ season of the show, 81% of women and 74% of men who ‘really love to watch MasterChef’ said they loved to cook, while 64% of the women and 58% of the men said people often complimented them on their cooking.
The dinner party dimension
Requiring a certain degree of culinary confidence, throwing a dinner party could be considered good training for any aspiring MasterChef. In that respect, women and men are evenly matched: the latest data shows that 24% of women and 23% of men threw a dinner party in the last three months.
Again, these figures are noticeably elevated among MasterChef fans: 33% of men and 30% of women who ‘really love to watch’ the show threw a dinner party in an average three-month period last year.
When asked which cuisines they like eating, Aussie men and women have similar tastes. Topping the list for both genders is Chinese (71% of women, 70% of men), followed by Italian (62% of women, 58% of men) and Thai (55% of women, 52% of men). Indian and Mexican are also favourites. This suggests it could be a close contest between the genders should they be faced with challenges of a multicultural nature.
Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 – March 2013 (n = 20,767). Base: Australians 14+
George Pesutto, Industry Director — Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“By setting itself up as a gastronomic battle of the sexes, the new season of MasterChef promises to provoke spirited dinner table conversation and competition in the kitchen.
“While women and men share similar tastes in cuisine, differences emerge when we consider their love for cooking and the compliments they receive for their culinary efforts. In that respect, women are shaping up as early favourites in this televisual cook-off.
“Getting even more specific, we’ve found that the highest proportion of women who love cooking and receive compliments for their cooking are aged between 25 and 34. Several of the contestants fit this profile this season, so we’ll be watching them closely.
“Admittedly, there are more male celebrity chefs (including two of the show’s judges) than females, but the data has spoken…we predict a female winner!”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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