Takeaway Nation: Why You're Probably Ordering In Tonight

Aussies are time poor, and millennials are most likely to avoid the kitchen and get dinner via a food delivery service.

On a Friday afternoon email inboxes start filling up with offers of pizza deals, delivery service discounts and the local Thai restaurant's specials.

It's because the food industry knows Aussies are happy to spend for convenience. Even when all other retail categories are doing badly -- consumers continue to spend on food at restaurants and delivered to their homes.

We're increasingly too darned tired to cook dinner and this is creating a multi-billion-dollar food industry.

Recent research from Roy Morgan shows nearly two million Australians aged 14+  now use one of the many meal delivery services in an average three months.

Millennials are most likely to use a meal delivery services (16.1 percent) and those aged over 70 are the least likely.

Millennials are the biggest users of food deliver services. IMAGE: Getty Images

Menulog  is Australia's long-standing meal delivery service, which began in 2006 since then, several others have made their entries including UberEats and Deliveroo which have all appeared since mid-2015.

Aussies are also picking up ready-made meals at increasing rates and dining at cafes and restaurants. As a nation, we now spend $45 billion each year on eating out and the average Aussie does so two to three times a week.

Robert Hunt, CEO of Dietitians Association of Australia understands that Australians are often time poor.

"Take stock, do it on a Friday night and order in but then promise yourself come Saturday you'll buy a handful of fresh ingredients and make a healthy meal with vegetables," he said.

While the preference for maintaining a healthy diet is to cook your own food, Hunt says there are ways to make eating out "balanced".

"By all means order your Uber eats or menu log but ensure what you order has vegetables in and is a balanced meal. Where possible try and order fish too as its a great source of omega 3," he told ten daily.

Dietitians suggest selecting vegetable rich food when ordering takeaway. IMAGE: Getty Images

And he says the key to staying on track is to plan ahead.

"Using just three or four ingredients, you can make a quick meal that's nutritious - its just about being organised and forward planning a little," he said.

You may be thinking -- 'but I don't have time to do that'.

"Sure planning takes time, but it actually saves time when it comes to deciding what to have dinner and to make sure we eat vegetables and a balanced meal," said Hunt.

Many food bloggers are lamenting the "death of home cooking" or cooking "from scratch".

There's American research that points to a decline in people's "interest" in cooking since 1965, and the dip began well before getting food to our doorstep became even easier.

In a separate study last year, health scientists concluded that people who cook at home more frequently tend to be healthier and spend less.

Those with larger households and more children were more likely to cook at home.

Interestingly, income and education did not influence who was more likely to eat fast food.

Contact the author at alattouf@networkten.com.au

Featured Image: Getty Images