New research, conducted by appliance manufacturer Beko, reveals that ‘kitchen envy’ is well and truly upon us with almost one in five 26-30 year olds saying they are envious of their friend’s kitchens and appliances.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 UK homeowners aged between 21-50 years old, found that more than one in 10 Brits surveyed would forgo a holiday so that they could afford a new kitchen kitted out with the latest appliances. Kitchen envy is a growing phenomenon for the younger generation with over 40% worrying that their kitchen is not as impressive as their friends, or worse that their friends will judge them.
The younger you are the more likely you are to worry about how impressive your kitchen is or whether your friends will judge you. Almost a quarter of 21-25 year olds are worried that their kitchen isn’t impressive compared to only 7% of those aged between 46-50.
The study shows that this new ‘Come Dine With Me’ culture seems to have fostered an element of competitiveness, with one in 10 men admitting they would seek the best kitchen gadgets to compete with friends – for example, having the biggest and best fridge freezer.
The research from Beko also revealed that young people are choosing to socialise at home rather than nipping to the pub or dancing the night away in a club. With recent news that half of UK nightclubs and pubs have closed down in the last 10 years, it is not surprising that over half (50%) of those surveyed said that they now entertain more often at home, therefore turning the heat up on pressures for the perfect kitchen.
Commenting on the research, Harley Street psychologist Doctor Becky Spellman said: “The urge to compete is deeply rooted in our evolutionary past, and there is a good reason for it. Throughout time, those who have been able to show that they are ‘best’ at what matters at the time (like being able to provide for a family by hunting, or being the most capable at raising children) have been the ones most likely to have their pick of potential mates, and to rise to positions of leadership.”
The survey also revealed that 52% of people enjoy having friends over for drinks, with 50% hosting dinner parties. Over a third (35%) of couples entertain their friends together. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married or living together, the home is now the centre of our social culture.
Doctor Spelman added: “It’s interesting that today, for both men and women, one of the most visible forms of competition between peers is seen in the home and perhaps most of all in the kitchen, which is the heart of the home for most people. It’s great that a brand like Beko recognises the changing needs of modern family life.
“With this in mind, it’s hard not to see a connection with our hunter-gather past; where those who brought in the finest meat and had the best tools would be admired. Today we jealously ooh and ah at the grandest kitchen extensions, the fanciest ovens, and the shiniest, sharpest kitchen utensils.”