Managing routine food choices in UK families: The role of convenience consumption

Marylyn Carrigan, Isabelle Szmigin, Sheena Leek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


The paper explores the meaning of convenience food for UK mothers, investigating the relationship between mothers and their families' food. The study examines the role of convenience food within the food strategies of contemporary UK families, and aims to elicit consumption meanings in the broader social context of family relationships with food, their rituals, routines and conventions. The findings reveal convenience has multiple meanings for UK women, and that convenience food has been incorporated into reinterpreted versions of homemade and "proper" meals. A hierarchy of acceptable convenience food is presented by the mothers, who tackle complex and conflicting family routines by introducing convenience solutions. Rules of eating have evolved, yet remain essentially controlled by the mother in terms of nutrition. While the traditional model of "proper" food remains aspirational, contemporary family lifestyles require that convenience food become part of the equation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-383
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jul 2006
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Convenience food
  • Family consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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