A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

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This Report on the Kitchen Front Broadcast is based upon the results of 3004 interviews conducted with housewives in England, Wales and Scotland during the latter half of September. Details of the sample are given in the appendix.

The main lines of the Survey were laid down by the Ministry of Food who planned the questionnaire and the analysis of the data.


The questionnaire was unusually difficult to administer as many questions were dependant on the answers to others and in some interviews sections of the questionnaire were not applicable. This has resulted in some of the questions being answered by less than all of the housewives to whom it should have applied. Where this is so we have not attempted to deduce or estimate the missing information but have noted the omission in the text.


It will be noted that in many tables the samples in the separate groups are so small as to make it impossible to rely upon the results, these tables are included because they were requested by the Ministry of Food, some tables in which the samples were extremely small have however been omitted. This applies particularly to the Analysis by Fuel and by Region.

There follows a list of the sections with the main results.

SECTION 1 . The Potential Audience of the Kitchen Front Programme .

This section is based upon the assumption that the Kitchen Front Programme may be broadcast only between the hours of 8.0 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. It was found that 15.3% of all housewives listen at some time during this period.

SECTION 2 . The Size and Composition of the Kitchen Front Audience .

The following are the main conclusions of this section.

Part i .

1. 11.6% of all housewives interviewed listened to the Kitchen Front Broadcast on the morning of the interview.

2. Of those who did not listen that morning but who had listened at some time 79.7% still listened to the Kitchen Front programme.

3. Of those who did not listen that morning 20.3% had given up listening to the programme.

4. 22.3% of those who did not listen on the morning of the interview had never listened.

Part ii .

Of the housewives listening to the Kitchen Front Programme 48.8% listened regularly, 20.0% fairly often, and 31.2% occasionally.

SECTION 3 . Reasons for lack of Interest .

The most important reasons for giving up listening to the Kitchen Front Programmes were “Busy” in 36% of cases, “Time Inconvenient” in 33.8% and “Not Interested” in 16.2%

SECTION 4 . Reasons for not listening to the Kitchen Front on the day of interview.

This section deals only with the answers of housewives who listened between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m but did not listen to the Kitchen Front, 54% of these were too busy.


Two groups of housewives who did not listen in to the Kitchen Front that morning were asked whether they would prefer the Kitchen Front broadcast immediately after the news 70% and 75.7% thought it would make no differences, 28.3% and 15.9% thought it would be more convenient.

697 spontaneous comments on time were analysed and it was found that there were three times in the day which were most often preferred, 9 a.m. “after the European News” by 16.1%, 1 p.m. “after the news” 23.8% and 6 p.m. “after the news” 14.2%.

SECTION 5. The extent to which listening to the Kitchen Front was Deliberate or Fortuitous .

The result shows that 38.4% of the sample listened “Deliberately“ and 61.6% “Fortuitously.”

SECTION 6. Recollections and Response to the Kitchen Front Broadcast.

Housewives who listened on the morning of interview were able to identify speakers in 53.4% of cases, 55.5% of housewives were able to quote information that was useful to them, but only 5.5% had taken notes.

SECTION 7. Preference for Speakers .

“Freddio Grisewood” obtained the greatest number of mentions as first choice and as the speaker most disliked.

SECTION 8 . Measurement of Active Response to Suggestions .

SECTION 9. Housewives Criticism of Recipes .

24.2% of housewives thought the recipes were “Unpractical” and 23.9% thought they were “Helpful, Sensible, etc..”

SECTION 10 . Constructive Suggestions .

  1. (a) 19.8% of all answers suggested that the talks should be given at more convenient time.

  2. (b) 50% of all housewives would like talks by Foreign Housewives.

APPENDIX 1 . The Sample .

APPENDIX 2 . The Questionnaire.

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