In USA homemade food is popular again

Dinner. Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash
By Reidar Molthe

12 January 2018 06:41

In USA homemade food is popular again

Homemade food has been losing ground in USA for years. The trend seems to turn now. That is good news for food retailers.

The year 2018 may turn out to offer a key opportunity for food retailers, as Americans say they plan to cook more meals at home this year.

For many years home cooking in US have been losing ground to snacking, restaurants and fast food. The trend has been so strong that many new apartments in cities like New York have been built without kitchens! The entrepreneurs may have to reconsiders their plans a bit now?

According to a new survey conducted on behalf of online grocer Peapod by ORC International*, 73% of adults currently make dinner at home at least four nights a week and nearly one third (31%) are planning to cook dinner at home more often in the New Year.

Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) are pushing that trend even further as 50% have intentions of making dinner at home more frequently in 2018. Teens, part of the generation dubbed Post-Millennials or Generation Z, look to be following in those foodie footsteps as four in five (79%) say they want their parents to cook more in 2018, writes Gina Costa.

Money is driving the trend

Fuelling the momentum to cook more at home are the desire to save money (72%) and eat healthier (52%). These were also the top factors in 2017, proving Americans see the financial value in shopping for groceries and planning for meals as well as selecting ingredients tailored to their nutritional preferences. 

An interesting shift for 2018 is that more Americans report cooking at home helps them spend quality time together as a family (43%); that's up 11 percentage points from last year. This is especially true for parents as 60% report cooking to spend quality time together.

When parents are searching for dinner ideas, finding a meal the whole family will like/agree upon ranks second in importance (85%), surpassed only by "tastes good" (94%).

Get the kids involved

Perhaps most surprisingly, kids are big supporters of more home-cooked meals, according to Costa. Teens report having fun while cooking (59%) and they also see meal time to spend time together as a family (55%).

Along with family bonding, getting kids involved with cooking teaches them important skills and grows an appreciation for healthy food and nutrition.

One in three teens (32%) who want to help their parents with cooking more - express a desire to help their family eat healthier meals.

Make meal planning easier

When asked what would make it easier to cook at home, Americans report the most valued shortcuts as ready to serve or cook mixes (41%), an example of which would be meal kits, followed closely by pre-chopped produce (38%).

Pre-measured ingredients (34%) and grocery delivery (25%) are also perceived as adding value. Parents are significantly more inclined than non-parents to value ready to serve or cook mixes (49% vs. 38%, respectively), pre-measured ingredients (43% vs. 30%), and grocery delivery (30% vs. 23%).

With respect to grocery delivery, Millennials are over twice as likely as Boomers to perceive this shortcut as valuable to them.

*ORC International conducted an online survey among 1,024 adults comprising 512 men and 512 women 18 years of age and older on Nov. 27-29, 2017

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