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Eggs, Fruit and Glue? Sharp’s surprising look inside Europe’s fridges

London, 06.08.2013

How would you feel about someone looking in your fridge? A new survey from Sharp Europe has found that only a fifth of Europeans (21%) would be proud to open their fridge doors to others. The survey, which took a peek inside refrigerators across Europe, uncovered a pan-European argument over whether eggs and fruit should be kept in the fridge and found that 6% of people are refrigerating glue.

The survey also confirms some national food stereotypes – the French are cheese-lovers and Spaniards are committed carnivores, but also uncovered, surprisingly, that the UK is the houmus capital of Europe.

Laurent Giraud, Product Marketing Manager, Health and Environment at Sharp Europe said: “Our fridges say a lot about us. At Sharp, we invent products that help make everyday life easier and more convenient; we wanted to see how we really use our fridges, what we actually keep in them and whether we have set places for everything. (It’s unlikely that we’ll include a glue drawer in our next model, but you never know).”

The great fridge vs. cupboard debate

There’s clear disagreement across Europe on whether eggs, fruit, root vegetables and condiments should go in the fridge or the cupboard.

Brits keep less in the fridge than their European counterparts, perhaps due to the colder climate. More than a quarter don’t keep eggs in the fridge, compared to 13% of French, and 4% of Germans and Spaniards surveyed.

A third (36%) of Brits don’t keep fruit in the fridge either, compared to a quarter of French (25%) and 10% of Spaniards. A quarter (26%) of people in the UK don’t put condiments like ketchup and mustard in the fridge, compared to only 11% of Germans, 8% of Spaniards and 6% of the French.

Astonishingly, 4% of Europeans don’t keep raw meat in the fridge.

Non-food items

A quarter of Europeans (26%) keep medicine in the fridge. Less sensibly, 6% store glue with their food, 3% of people keep nail varnish below 5˚ and 1% even store paint and batteries in there. Amongst the more unusual answers, those questioned admitted to keeping sun tan lotion, tobacco and modelling clay in their fridges.

Fridge favourites

Asking what deli, cheese and meat items people have in the fridge, Sharp has uncovered some surprising national food favourites. The fridges of Europe are most likely to contain the following...

Percentage of fridges in Europe containing the following food items

 

UK

France

Germany

Spain

European average

Deli items

 

Cooked ham

75%

86%

61%

86%

77%

Salami

26%

31%

67%

37%

40%

Pastrami

10%

2%

3%

2%

4%

Turkey

21%

34%

8%

68%

33%

Coleslaw

53%

10%

20%

9%

23%

Sauerkraut

2%

11%

9%

2%

6%

Remoulade

2%

22%

42%

2%

17%

Olives

33%

43%

41%

53%

43%

Dips such as Houmus and Taramosalata

41%

27%

11%

13%

23%

 

Cheese

 

Parmigiano Reggiano

24%

42%

19%

35%

30%

English Farmhouse Cheddar

76%

5%

7%

21%

27%

Roquefort

10%

48%

9%

31%

25%

Brie

30%

49%

33%

22%

34%

Gruyère

8%

79%

5%

13%

26%

Roncal

-

1%

1%

9%

0.4%

Époisses

1%

10%

1%

1%

3%

Stilton

26%

1%

1%

1%

7%

Gouda

9%

25%

68%

30%

33%

Gorgonzola

7%

12%

15%

8%

11%

Camembert

19%

72%

53%

23%

42%

Mozzarella

30%

41%

51%

40%

41%

Feta

24%

22%

41%

8%

24%

Goat's cheese

18%

64%

23%

49%

39%

Taleggio

3%

1%

2%

1%

2%

 

Raw meat

 

Beef

53%

60%

46%

68%

57%

Lamb

33%

32%

10%

28%

26%

Pork

41%

63%

53%

66%

56%

Chicken

75%

72%

47%

88%

71%

Rabbit

2%

27%

6%

28%

16%

Duck

10%

28%

10%

5%

13%

UK: 41% of Brits questioned have houmous in the fridge, the highest percentage in the survey. They are also more likely to have the following items, compared to other nationalities: coleslaw (53%), lamb (33%) and British cheeses cheddar (76%) and stilton (26%).

  • France: confirming their cheese-loving reputation, seven out of fifteen world cheeses were more likely to be found in French fridges: Parmigiano Reggiano (42%), Brie (48%), Gruyere (49%), Camembert (72%), Goat’s cheese (64%) and Epoisses (10%).
  • Germany: Salami is a clear German favourite (67% of households), but their fridges were also most likely to contain the following cheeses compared to other Europeans, gouda (68%), mozzarella (51%), feta (41%) and gorgonzola (15%).
  • Spain: the carnivores of Europe, Spaniards were most likely to have cooked ham (68%), turkey (68%), beef (68%), pork (66%) and chicken (88%) in the fridge, compared to other nations.  

Neat and tidy

Spaniards have the most organised fridges in Europe: 42% have a place for everything, compared to only a quarter of Brits and Germans and 29% of French people questioned.

Perhaps showing that women are slightly more ‘fridge-proud’ than men, 7% of women would be embarrassed if someone looked in their fridge because it’s such a mess, compared to only 3% of European men. However, this may just be that they’re more likely to know what’s in there: 88% of European women say they are in charge of organising their fridge, compared to only 48% of men.

Sharp recently launched a new glass-fronted four door fridge, the SJ-FS820VSL, which not only looks great, but also boasts the biggest capacity of its type on the market and an A++ energy rating. The SJ-FS820VSL includes refrigeration technologies unique to Sharp: Plasmacluster and Hybrid Cooling, which combine to provide maximum food freshness and less food waste.

Sharp’s Plasmacluster is a revolutionary ion generator technology which makes fridges more hygienic by restricting the growth of bacteria and moisture. Hybrid Cooling is a gentle cooling system which doesn’t dry food out, helping fruit and vegetables to keep their appearance and taste fresh for longer. 

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