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The number of men who do the cooking at home is steadily growing. According to a new study by the NPD Group, while women still prepare most dinners (78 percent of meals cooked at home), last year men prepared 18 percent of all in-home suppers vs. 14 percent in 2003.
The Port Washington, N.Y.-based firm's study of national eating habits in 2,000 households additionally found that younger men living in a household with others are cook most frequently. Sixty-seven percent of men under age 25 will prepare at least one of the next 10 meals.
"There has been a steady rise in the number of men cooking at home over the last four years, and while 18 percent of men cooking dinner at home may not sound significant, it is an historical high," noted Harry Balzer, NPD Group v.p. and author of its 22nd annual "Eating Patterns in America" report. "Saving time and money are the primary motivators behind nearly every behavior shift in our eating habits. Men cooking make life easier for the primary meal preparer."
The study also discovered that the increasing number of male cooks has resulted in more year-round grilling. Thirty-eight percent of the households surveyed said that they grill at least once in a two-week period, compared with 31 percent of respondents 10 years ago.
"In addition to the power window, the outdoor grill is the one in-home appliance that men are most likely to use," observed Balzer.