A new study has found that the fast-paced modern lifestyle has taken its toll on family gatherings, especially the traditional family dinner.
The Spam Chopped Pork and Ham surveyed 3,000 Brits to launch its Cook of the Year 2010 competition and found that a decade ago the average time for serving dinner was 5.46pm, with nearly four out of every five families always eating together.
However, today the dinner time has been pushed to 6.22pm, with nearly a quarter of the families never dining together.
While 27percent report that they have dinner once their children have gone to bed, over a third say everyone eats at different times.
And 85percent blame the increase in the number of working women for later dinner.
"It is not surprising that so many of us are eating dinner later owing to changes in modern lifestyles," the Daily Express quoted company spokesman Rebecca Hurn, as saying.
"Mums are juggling managing the home with a career, while dads are working longer hours. To top it off, children have their own hectic after-school schedule," Phil Vickery, celebrity chef and supporter of the contest, said.
"We hope this competition will encourage families to experiment with convenient yet high-quality food," he added.
The poll also discovered that 43percent wanted their family to make more effort so that they could sit for meals together. Also, nearly two thirds wished they had time to prepare nice meals in the evenings.