Retail Intelligence

Over Half Of Adults Always Use Herbs When They Are Cooking

By Donna Ahern
Over Half Of Adults Always Use Herbs When They Are Cooking


Over half (53%) of all adults claim they would almost always use herbs when they are cooking, with a similar proportion (49%), claiming to use spices in their cooking with the same frequency. Recent research on behalf of Retail Intelligence by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,012 adults aged 18+, sought to understand which herbs and spices are most popular and the nations’ general attitude to flavourings in the food we consume.

The use of herbs in cooking is consistent across most age groups but the use of spices in cooking is more prevalent amongst those in the younger age groups, with 55% of those aged 25-34 claiming to use spices almost always when they cook.

As a nation, we appear to be evenly split in terms of our spice threshold with 1 in 10 (10%) adults claiming that they like their food “the hotter, the better” with a further 4 in 10 (40%) claiming to like their food fairly spicy. At the other end of the spectrum, just under 1 in 10 (9%) adults do not like any spice in their food with 4 in 10 (41%) claiming they like some spice, but their food should be mild tasting. Those in favour of “the hotter the better”, tend to be aged between 25-44 and Dublin residents.

7 in 10 adults who cook with spice claim they use curry powder in their cooking, with similar proportions (67%) using chilli and paprika (65%). Parsley is the most used herd in cooking (75%) with basil (65%) and thyme (64%) also used to a significant degree.


For further information and more in-depth analysis in relation to the herbs and spices being used by consumers, as well as their preference for dried and fresh variations please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research. r[email protected]

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