How does Czechia eat? A new study serves up insights on mealtime habits

From what's on the breakfast, lunch, and dinner table to how much individuals spend on food, a new survey reveals how Czechia eats. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 17.10.2023 11:37:00 (updated on 17.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

How have your eating habits changed since coming to the Czech Republic? The results of the latest international FOOD Barometer survey, announced by the Czech Chamber of Commerce this week, found that only two-thirds of Czechs eat breakfast regularly and that a percentage of respondents enjoy a beer with breakfast. A hot lunch is the norm while cold salads are a dinner-time mainstay.

The research certainly rings true to the old Czech saying: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a peasant (Snídej jako král, obědvej jako princ a večeř jako chuďas), though the data also shows that while Czech diners prioritize fresh food, they are less attentive to issues like large portion sizes.

Sweet breakfast, hot lunch, and vegetables at dinner

In the survey, Czechs reported that they most often eat dairy products, jam, cereals, savory pastries, and eggs for breakfast, and about one-fifth of Czechs do not eat breakfast at all. Earlier research found that in addition to pastries, cold cuts are also commonly found on the Czech breakfast table.

The majority of Czechs prefer a hot lunch. Poultry and beef are among the most common mains with pasta, rice, or potatoes the most popular sides. Dinner is more likely to be cold than hot with vegetables and salads accompanying the evening meal.

The Czech drink of choice with all meals is water. The only exception is breakfast, for which 56 percent of them drink coffee. Forty-nine percent of respondents have a glass of wine with dinner, and two-fifths have a beer.

The research conducted by meal voucher company Edenred over 4,600 respondents found that 62 percent of Czechs are concerned about eating a balanced diet, compared to more than three-quarters in Europe, and most people think they can tell healthy food from unhealthy food, but they are often wrong.

Czech eating habits in focus

  • 5 percent of Czechs abstain from meat, 3 percent don't eat eggs or dairy.
  • More than 73 percent of respondents love or like mushrooms.
  • 60 percent love or like olives, and 14 percent hate them.
  • Four out of 5 Czechs like cauliflower.
  • Only 16 percent of Czechs have a beer with lunch.
  • Just 0.5 percent drink wine regularly, while 1 percent drink beer for breakfast.

Price also plays a role in food choices. Nearly 60 percent of people in the survey said they would cut back on food purchases if their costs continue to rise. However, Czechs spend less on food than people in neighboring countries, most often 20 or 30 percent of their monthly income.

"Due to various socio-economic factors, Czechs tend to opt for easily available but unhealthy food," said Aneta Martišková, from Edenred, adding that such choices were mainly due "to price and time."

The results of the survey, published on World Food Day on Oct. 16 and coordinated by meal-vouhcer company Edenred, also found that Czechs are not strongly motivated by trends or ethics to eat healthier.

However, workplace support from flexible, affordable healthy options in company cafeterias could encourage nearly half of Czechs to adopt better dietary habits.

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