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  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

Festive Food Feuds - New Research Examines Irish and Italian dining habits this Christmas

Christmas is a special time for great food, festive drinks and cherished time with family and friends. For most of us, this occasion is centred around the dinner table. With Christmas just around the corner, Birra Moretti wanted to find out just how much quality time Irish and Italian diners spend amongst loved ones at the table.

Italians are unapologetically devoted to taking time out of their day to enjoy good food and conversation for hours at the table but how do the Irish fare? This new research uncovers how modern Italian and Irish people approach mealtimes and what that means for our shared tradition of a natter over dinner.


The standout findings from the survey include: Tavola, Traditions and Togetherness

Sitting down to a feast, no matter the time of year, is an important part of our shared culture of conversation and coming together over a great meal with those we love. New research confirms that Italian participants overwhelmingly adhere to tradition when it comes to mealtimes.


96% of Italian respondents chose to dine at the table overall, signifying an unwavering commitment to dining traditions and quality time with loved ones.


Similarly committed to the concept of family feasts, over two thirds (63%) of Irish survey respondents claimed proudly that sitting down for a meal was their preferred method of dining.


Even with the 37% of those who admitted that a seated dinner wasn’t always possible due to other life demands, the idea that time spent with loved ones is time well spent, endures across cultures.


Festive Family Time

In a post-COVID world, the Italian and Irish cohorts both continue to strive to dine together with 39% and 49% respectively stating they attended a meal with family or friends more than once a week. However, the Italian spirit of family shines through with one fifth (21%) of Italian survey respondents enjoying family dinners every night of the week. Considering the population of Italy, that’s 49 million people who plan to respect dinner time rituals.


Speaking to the findings of this survey, Conor McIntyre, Senior Brand Manager at Birra Moretti said: “The research shows that our Italian counterparts put greater emphasis on sitting down and savouring their meal regularly, while Irish respondents relish family time when possible. Both cultures have traditions and priorities that revolve around a shared table, we can learn a lot from each other! As we approach Christmas with loved ones, the survey reminds us to slow down and embrace time with loved ones to pay homage to rituals around mealtimes.”


Dining Debates

What would Christmas be without a spirited debate over dinner? 56% of Italian survey participants admitted to relishing in lively discussions over their dinner all year round, proving the Colosseum is not the only place for Italian families to do battle.


Following closely, figures from Ireland showed 51% of Irish respondents admit to sharing their strong opinions on hot topics at the table.Eat, Drink and be Merry!

Enjoying a glass of something special is a time-honoured tradition at Christmas in both Ireland and Italy, but do we enjoy our tipples with dinner throughout the year differently? When it comes down to it, Italian respondents were more likely to embrace the long-standing tradition of pairing an alcoholic beverage with their meal, research finds.Be it beer or wine, 70% of Italian respondents confirmed they enjoyed a drink with their main meal from time to time, a nod to the well-engrained tradition of taking time to enjoy an aperitivo! Just shy of half of Irish respondents (49%) answered the same.


Conor McIntyre, Senior Brand Manager at Birra Moretti continued: “‘The Shared Table’, our two-part TV series, returned to Irish TV screens this winter and to celebrate we commissioned this research into Irish and Italian dining habits. The show invites celeb guests to share great food, delicious drinks and great company and we wanted to translate that same ethos of and enjoying life’s simple pleasures for viewers at home.While everyday influences such as busy schedules and screens pull at our attention, both the Irish and Italians still value time to eat, drink and be merry, be it around a shared table on Ireland’s emerald shores or indeed beneath the Tuscan sun.”

The Shared Table, a two-part TV series by Birra Moretti, hosted by Eoghan Doherty, is available now on Virgin Media Player and is the perfect start to your Christmas season. Embracing the spirit of Christmas fun, guests will get up close and personal, enjoying good food, good beer, and great company; together experiencing life’s simple pleasures and comparing their favourite Italian notes.


Slán go fóill.

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