A study of 2,000 adults found almost 58 per cent believe most of their relationships revolve around a love of cooking, eating and dining out together.
And 54 per cent can’t imagine a meet up with friends that doesn’t involve eating or drinking, while half always eat and drink with relatives.
Occasions which bring people together over grub were found to include Christmas, birthday celebrations, and barbecues or garden parties.
While 55 per cent said eating together is special because it’s the only time they really get to enjoy together as family.
The study was commissioned by Crockpot in collaboration with FareShare in a bid to unite the nation over food.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO, said: “Good food is clearly something which brings people together, whether it’s a big celebration or simply spending time with one another.
“We know that, in the wake of the pandemic, many more people will be turning to local charities this winter.
“The food we provide doesn’t just alleviate hunger, eating meals together helps to people to form new friendships and tackles the problem of loneliness and isolation.
“The support we receive from brands like Crockpot is vitally important, helping us continue to get food out to almost 11,000 charities providing care and support in their local communities.”
The study also found nearly a fifth of adults get together over food with their family as often as once a week, while more than one in 10 said the same of friends.
While 52 per cent see it as a chance to simply catch up, 27 per cent believe food is a universal topic so great for socialising.
Another 21 per cent feel it’s the only time they get to catch up with friends or family and 20 per cent just enjoy preparing food for other people.
When spending time with others, 41 per cent will always turn to a homecooked meal, but 22 per cent will order in a takeaway.
Although there are some barriers to meeting up with others to enjoy a meal, including Covid-19, not living close enough, not having the free time or being unable to afford it.
While one in 10 admitted they don’t like spending time with their family or friends at all.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that of those who have children, they eat an average of eight out of 21 meals with their children a week.
Nearly eight in 10 said these meals are most likely to be a dinnertime while 38 per cent tend to sit together at breakfast.
Iain Stuart-Crush, a spokesperson for Crockpot, said: “Our brand has always helped bring people together through moments, memories, and meals.
“That’s why we’re proud to donate the funds to enable FareShare to rescue and redistribute the equivalent of 200,000 meals to vulnerable people across the UK to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy quality time together.”
THE NATION’S FAVOURITE FOOD-BASED EVENTS:
2. Birthday celebrations
3. A BBQ/ garden party
4. Days out
6. Going on holiday
7. Nights in
8. Dinner parties
10. TV sporting events
11. Movie nights
12. A housewarming party
13. Hen/ stag parties
15. Work parties
16. Leaving parties
17. A baby shower
18. A first date
19. Baking competitions
20. Client meetings