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According to new research from Mintel, cooking at home has become a more popular trend among consumers, with one quarter (26 percent) of Americans saying they “love” cooking; 35 percent saying they “like” to cook; 31 percent saying they “don’t mind it”; while only 9 percent claim they’d prefer to stay out of the kitchen all together.
Additionally, 20 percent of U.S. consumers describe their cooking skills level as advanced, while almost half (46 percent) feel they maintain at least an intermediate level.
Cost is always a key factor when it comes to cooking at home, but Mintel’s research shows that nutrition is proving to be equally as important. Nearly half (46 percent) of Mintel respondents who cook strongly agree that cooking at home is a healthier option to purchasing prepared foods from a store, and 43 percent agree that home cooking is healthier than eating at restaurants.
“This enthusiasm for cooking at home is likely to persist despite having more disposable income that could be spent dining out,” said Gretchen Grabowski, leisure analyst at Mintel. “In addition to a perception that cooking is more cost effective, it is also a principal way in which Americans are bettering their health, bonding with family, and preserving their own familial traditions. There is also an element of surprise or adventure involved in cooking at home, as those who participate can experiment with new foods and learn about other cultures.”
Additionally, 43 percent of Americans say buying and using food packaging that maintains freshness and taste is very important, while 35 percent agree that using ingredients with the highest nutritional value is also very important.
Meanwhile, 23 percent note the importance of supporting local food and produce vendors, such as those found at farmers markets, but only 13 percent feel the strong need to buy organic food or ingredients.
For those who prefer not to cook, the main reason (according to 30 percent of Americans) is the requisite post-cooking clean-up; 23 percent say they just don’t have the time to cook; and 19 percent say cooking for themselves is just not worth it.
Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence.