The Bulgarians’ eating habits are changing following the changes in the standard of living, food and beverages available on the market, the store network, the structure and the quality of public houses and restaurants.
The eating habits are influenced by the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, physical literacy and the eating culture as a whole, predetermined by historical and economically inherited or acquired factors and attitudes.
During the hectic daily life, people eat one or two times a day (58% of respondents) and to a lesser extent three or four times (37%), while on weekends the number of meals is bigger.
Heat-cooked food is central to the nutrition of the Bulgarians. Over the weekday, over half of the people (51%) manage to eat more than one hot meal, while on weekends this percentage increases to 72%.
An interesting phenomenon is eating in an unusual condition – when one feels stressed, unhappy, angry or bored. 23% of respondents said they often eat when exposed to some of these factors.
Healthy eating is an important feature of food, with only 6% not trying to look for healthy foods, and 14% always try to eat healthy foods.
Dining places occupy an important part in the nutrition of the Bulgarians. Dining visits are divided into smaller percentage groups at the lowest and highest frequencies per visit, and the proportion of people who visit a restaurant two or three times a month is the highest.
The most preferred type of resort places are restaurants (55%), followed by taverns, pubs, beer halls (23%), and pizzerias (17%), but these preferences are not always related to the most frequented restaurants. Other factors also influence the choice for a visit.
The first two most important factors determining restaurant choices are hygiene (9.6 out of 10.0) and food quality (9.5 out of 10.0). Next, the level of service (8.8) and the environment (8.2) are ranked, and the price level of the establishment comes only fifth (6.9).
Visiting a restaurant is not a motivator for choosing a healthier food. Two-thirds of the respondents order just as healthy food as the food they consume at home, and only 11% pay attention to this aspect of dining outdoors, while 22% tend to order more junk food in the restaurants they visit.
Bulgarian cuisine has traditions and is deeply rooted in the customs and the lifestyle. It dominates the preferences – 73% say it is their favorite. The second most liked type of cuisine is the Italian one – it’s the favorite for 21% of the respondents.
Among the things they would change in their eating habits, the respondents point out first of all the presence of more fruit and vegetables, the reduction of consumption of bread and bakery products, the reduction of sugar consumption and the purchase of better quality products. This is mainly related to the eating habits at home, as more frequent visits to restaurants are not an important factor for change.
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