“As a result of the pandemic, many consumers developed new cooking skills and habits that have persisted after the lockdowns on dining out have ended and, not only are they cooking at home more often, the majority of consumers don’t mind doing so. Consumers are eager to learn new cooking skills, and over the past year, have been exploring with meal kits and new recipes to keep things fresh and exciting. Looking forward, food inflation and the threat of recession is likely to increasing home cooking, despite society opening up to dining out.”

– Michael Lloy, Senior Analyst

This report covers the following issues:

  • What are consumers’ cooking habits? Do they like cooking? How often do they cook?
  • What are consumers’ cooking skill levels? Are they interested in improving?
  • Where do consumers find out about their cooking recipes?
  • What prevents consumers from cooking more?
  • What are the main reasons why consumers choose to cook from scratch?

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Top takeaways
            • Market overview
              • Cooking trends outlook
                • Figure 1: Category outlook, Cooking trends, 2022-27
              • Opportunities
                • Consumers want to learn, and brands can accommodate
                  • Encouraging family cooking time can help get fathers in the kitchen while also combatting cooking fatigue
                    • Challenges
                      • Time is the biggest barrier preventing Canadians from cooking more
                      • Market Factors

                        • While healthy eating is pushed as a priority, success has been questionable
                          • Figure 2: Canadian weight distribution, by age, 2020
                        • Rising costs will result in more at-home eating but presents a barrier to healthy options
                          • Figure 3: Monthly movement in selected non-food components of the Canadian Consumer Price Index, not seasonally adjusted, 2020-22
                          • Figure 4: Monthly movement in selected food components of the Canadian Consumer Price Index, not seasonally adjusted, 2020-22
                        • Household savings are falling rapidly
                          • Figure 5: Canadian household savings rate, Q1 2019-Q1 2022
                        • Canada’s population is aging
                          • Figure 6: Canadian population age projections, yearly, 2000-40
                        • Canada’s increasingly diverse population means increased demand for diverse ingredients and recipes
                          • Figure 7: Canadian population age projections, yearly, 1981-2040
                      • Cooking Segments

                          • Segmentation factors
                            • Cooking frequency
                              • Cooking enjoyment
                                • General cooking motivation
                                  • Desire to improve cooking skills
                                    • Figure 8: Consumer cooking segments, 2022
                                  • High priority segments
                                    • Enthusiastic Cooks
                                      • Unenthusiastic Cooks
                                        • Aspiring Cooks
                                          • Conflicted Cooks
                                            • Low priority segments
                                              • Avoidant Cooks
                                                • Content Cooks
                                                  • Non-cooks
                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                      • Meeting the needs of home cooks via the lens of the Identity Trend Driver
                                                        • Foodpreneur Lab puts a spotlight on community
                                                          • Figure 9: Foodpreneur Lab Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Grocery Neighbour launched a mobile grocery store to service underserved neighbourhoods
                                                          • Figure 10: Grocery Neighbour Instagram post, 2021
                                                        • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Surroundings Trend Driver
                                                          • Entomo Farm jumps towards carbon neutrality with… crickets?
                                                            • Figure 11: Entomo Farms Instagram post, 2022
                                                          • Source Bulk invests in sustainability in a big way
                                                            • Figure 12: Source Bulk Foods Instagram post, 2022
                                                          • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
                                                            • Canadian consortium seeks to leverage the power of chickpeas as new power food
                                                              • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Experience Trend Driver
                                                                • Campbell’s promoted ways to turn its soups into cocktails
                                                                  • Figure 13: Campbell’s Brothtails Instagram post, 2021
                                                                • Hellman’s utilized Experience to turn virtual food waste into charitable food donations
                                                                • Cooking Trends – Fast Facts

                                                                  • Meet Canada’s Cooks

                                                                    • Canadian cooks are passionate about their cooking
                                                                      • Figure 14: Cooking attitudes, motivations, skills and interest in improving cooking skills, 2022
                                                                      • Figure 15: Cooking frequency, 2022
                                                                      • Figure 16: Cooks very often (4+ times per week), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                    • Despite heightened enjoyment and frequency, cooking remains a chore
                                                                      • Mothers take the brunt of regular cooking duties
                                                                        • Figure 17: Cooking frequency, moms vs dads, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 18: Amazon Echo Show: Cooking Together, 2018
                                                                        • Figure 19: Enjoyment of cooking, moms vs dads, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 20: President’s Choice mom post, 2021
                                                                        • Figure 21: Meyer St. Patrick’s Day giveaway on Instagram, 2022
                                                                      • Nearly all young consumers report a desire to improve their cooking skills
                                                                        • Figure 22: Cooking sentiments of young consumers, 18-24s vs overall, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 23: Chef’s plate reading rainbow TikTok cooking post, 2022
                                                                    • Cooking and COVID-19

                                                                      • Worry over exposure keeps cooking consumers home
                                                                        • Figure 24: COVID-19 cooking attitudes (% any agree), 2022
                                                                        • Figure 25: Hello Fresh quick cooking twitter post, 2020
                                                                      • Women feel significantly safer about cooking from home due to COVID-19
                                                                        • Figure 26: “I feel safer cooking at home than dining at a restaurant due to COVID-19” (% strongly agree), men vs women, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 27: Hello Fresh safe cooking twitter post, 2020
                                                                    • Shifting Cooking Habits

                                                                      • Consumers have become more adventurous cooks in the last year
                                                                        • Figure 28: Cooking behaviour frequencies compared to previous year, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 29: New recipe enjoyment and activity, by age and gender, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 30: Loblaws Instagram post, 2020
                                                                      • Older consumers prefer cycling through what they know
                                                                        • Figure 31: “I tend to cook the same recipes on rotation”, by age and gender, 2022
                                                                        • Figure 32: Chefs Plate Facebook post, 2022
                                                                      • Economic factors are driving people back into their own kitchens…
                                                                        • …and as a result, consumers are spending more time on preparing their meals
                                                                          • Figure 33: Time spent cooking specific meals compared to last year, 2022
                                                                        • Parents are driving increased kitchen time
                                                                          • Figure 34: Loblaws Instagram post, 2021
                                                                        • Brands should encourage more family cooking time to give parents a break
                                                                          • Figure 35: Cooking with family compared to last year, by parental status, 2022
                                                                          • Figure 36: Meyer Canada family cooking tutorial, 2021
                                                                        • Asian consumers are cooking more with their families…
                                                                          • Figure 37: Cooking meals with family compared to last year, Chinese, South Asian and Asian consumers vs overall, 2022
                                                                        • …but family recipes are important across most demographics
                                                                          • Figure 38: Use of family recipes, Chinese, South Asian and Asian consumers vs overall, 2022
                                                                          • Figure 39: Hello Fresh family recipe nostalgia Facebook post, 2020
                                                                      • Ingredients and Portions

                                                                        • Consumers looking to save time tend to cook large portions for multiple meals
                                                                          • Figure 40: Cooking attitudes and habits – Portions, 2022
                                                                        • Age plays a part in how consumers portion their cooking
                                                                          • Figure 41: Cooking attitudes and habits – Portions, by age, 2022
                                                                          • Figure 42: Maple Leaf leftover upcooking Twitter post, 2022
                                                                        • Canadian consumers want healthy, sustainable ingredients
                                                                          • Canadians are looking for more natural ingredients
                                                                            • Figure 43: Cooking ingredients and sustainability (% any agree), 2022
                                                                            • Figure 44: Loblaws strawberries Instagram post, 2021
                                                                          • Sustainability and ethical sourcing are higher priorities for younger consumers
                                                                            • Figure 45: Sustainability importance (% strongly agree), by age, 2022
                                                                          • However, cost may be a barrier to adopting sustainability and ethical sourcing
                                                                            • South Asian and Black consumers feel more strongly about sustainability
                                                                              • Figure 46: Sustainability importance (% any agree), Chinese, South Asian and Black consumers vs overall, 2022
                                                                            • Older consumers are more likely to cite a preference for in-season ingredients
                                                                              • Figure 47: “I plan meals around in-season ingredients”, by age and gender, 2022
                                                                              • Figure 48: Loblaws gardening post, 2021
                                                                          • Cooking Inspiration

                                                                            • Outside of family recipes, Canadians rely on more traditional, non-digital sources of inspiration
                                                                              • Figure 49: Cooking/recipe inspiration, 2022
                                                                            • Younger consumers are more open to a wider variety of cooking inspiration sources
                                                                              • Figure 50: Cooking/recipe inspiration: social media, by age and gender, 2022
                                                                              • Figure 51: Cooking/recipe inspiration, by age, 2022
                                                                              • Figure 52: Loblaws flyer Instagram post, 2022
                                                                            • For Gen Z and younger consumers, TikTok is an incredible resource
                                                                              • Figure 53: Daily usage of social media, 13-17s and 18-24s vs overall, 2022
                                                                              • Figure 54: Chef’s Plate Instagram post, 2022
                                                                            • Brands can reach parents with recipe inspiration via social media
                                                                              • Figure 55: Cooking/recipe inspiration, by parental status, 2022
                                                                            • Spotlight on: Dads in the kitchen
                                                                              • Figure 56: Hello Fresh fathers Instagram post, 2021
                                                                            • Consumers in Quebec fall behind on social media inspiration
                                                                              • Figure 57: Cooking/recipe inspiration, Quebec vs overall, 2022
                                                                          • Reasons for Cooking

                                                                            • Practical benefits outweigh emotional benefits of cooking at home for the majority of Canadians
                                                                              • Figure 58: PC Financial YouTube Points video, 2022
                                                                              • Figure 59: Reasons to cook (% any agree), 2022
                                                                            • Younger Canadians are more concerned with the emotional benefits of cooking
                                                                              • Figure 60: Reasons to cook (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                              • Figure 61: Chef’s Plate TikTok post, 2021
                                                                            • Canadians can make cultural connections in the kitchen
                                                                              • Figure 62: Reasons to cook – Cultural connection (% any agree), 2022
                                                                              • Figure 63: Foodpreneur Lab Instagram post, 2022
                                                                          • Barriers to Cooking

                                                                            • Consumers’ kitchens are stocked, but the biggest barrier is the clock
                                                                              • Figure 64: Barriers to cooking, 2022
                                                                            • Younger consumers face more barriers to cook
                                                                              • Figure 65: Barriers to cooking, by age, 2022
                                                                            • Men, specifically, feel hindered by a lack of knowledge and do not like shopping
                                                                              • Figure 66: Barriers to cooking, men vs women, 2022
                                                                            • Meal kits are an excellent option to breach cooking barriers
                                                                              • Figure 67: Chefs Plate 15 minute meal TikTok post, 2022
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                  • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Terms

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