Description

“By and large, Canadians like the idea of cooking. For many, it provides a sense of satisfaction and even stress relief. Many also feel more confident in the kitchen following the pandemic. The evolution in meal preparation moving forward is likely to be influenced by generational shifts with today’s younger consumers more likely to share responsibility rather than leaving it to one person. As cooking becomes more of a shared responsibility, it can increasingly be a means to connect and by extension be more enjoyable.”

–   Joel Gregoire, Associate Director for Food & Drink

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Do Canadians enjoy cooking and what is their perceived proficiency?
  • Who bears most of the responsibility for meal planning and preparation, and how does this impact their perception of cooking?
  • When do Canadians decide what to have for dinner?
  • What matters most (and least) when deciding what to make for dinner?

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

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

            • Top takeaways
              • It’s important for brands to capitalize on ‘the joy of cooking’
                • Younger generations are more likely to share responsibility for meal planning and preparation
                  • Familiarity trumps novelty when it comes to deciding on what to make
                    • Consumer trends
                      • The pandemic incentivized Canadians to elevate their cooking ‘chops’
                        • Figure 1: Change in cooking habits versus before the pandemic, 2023
                      • Nearly all Canadians associate cooking from scratch with saving money
                        • Figure 2: Attitudes towards meal planning/preparation and budgeting, 2023
                      • Moms and dads have different views on how much they contribute to meal planning
                        • Figure 3: Responsibility for meal planning, moms vs dads, 2023
                      • Personal connections are the main source for meal ideas
                        • Figure 4: Sources of meal ideas, 2023
                      • Competitive strategies
                        • Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize meal planning
                          • Figure 5: Bing Instagram post, 2023
                        • Air fryers are the ‘it’ appliance right now
                          • Figure 6: Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Seasoning Mix (US), 2022
                        • Meal ‘hacks’ in service of more robust meal experiences resonate with Gen Zs
                          • Figure 7: Perceived improvement in cooking skills and aspiration to improve at cooking (% agree), Gen Zs vs overall, 2023
                        • Market predictions
                          • Responsibility for meal planning and preparation to be increasingly shared
                            • Figure 8: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals at home, by age, 2023
                          • Economic uncertainty has the potential to provide a second boost to in-home cooking
                            • Figure 9: Outlook for meal planning and preparation, 2023-28
                          • Opportunities
                            • Position cooking as a stress relief and not a chore
                              • Figure 10: Emotive connections to cooking, 2023
                            • Technology paired with cooking allows brands to reach consumers more effectively
                              • Figure 11: Emotive connections to cooking (% agree), by generation, 2023
                            • The morning matters when it comes to planning dinner
                              • Figure 12: When dinners are typically planned, 2023
                          • Market Drivers

                            • Food inflation remains stubbornly elevated
                              • Figure 13: Canadian year-over-year consumer price index (annualized inflation rate) for all items and food from retail, by month, 2019-23
                              • Figure 14: What Canadians have been affected by over the past two months, 2023
                              • Figure 15: Annualized food inflation, by category, February 2023 vs February 2022
                            • Supermarket sales remain elevated through foodservice’s recovery
                              • Figure 16: Dollars spent at food services and drinking places in Canada, 2023
                              • Figure 17: Retail trade sales for supermarkets and other grocery (except convenience) stores, 2022
                            • Immigration continues to drive Canada’s population growth…
                              • Figure 18: Overall actual/planned permanent resident admissions, 2021-25
                            • …with Asia and India more specifically as the primary source
                              • Figure 19: Permanent residents admitted to Canada, by country (top 10), 2022
                            • Shifts in commuting behaviours and work location have limited impact on meal preparation habits
                              • Figure 20: Change in driving frequency, 2022
                          • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                            • Tech’s impact on meal planning and preparation
                              • AI has the potential to upend existing behaviours
                                • Figure 21: Bing Instagram post, 2023
                                • Figure 22: Coca-Cola® I Create Real Magic, 2023
                              • The convenience and versatility of air fryers contribute to their popularity
                                • Figure 23: Purchase intent of small kitchen appliances, 2021
                                • Figure 24: Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Seasoning Mix (US), 2022
                                • Figure 25: Green Giant Parmesan Cheese Zucchini Tots (US), 2022
                                • Figure 26: Tyson Air Fried Chicken Breast Strips (US), 2021
                                • Figure 27: Baker’s Signature Air Fryer Parchment Paper (US), 2022
                              • Cracking the Gen Z code in the kitchen
                                • Meal hacks are in service of broader meal experience
                                  • Gen Zs are socially minded, so it makes sense that cooking should be a social activity
                                    • Clear, short term-benefits resonate with Gen Zs
                                      • Summarizing cooking and Gen Zs
                                      • Consumers and Meal Planning & Preparation – Fast Facts

                                        • Cooking Responsibility

                                          • Nearly two thirds of Canadians bear most of the responsibility for cooking
                                            • Figure 28: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals at home, 2023
                                          • Younger adults are more likely to share responsibility for preparing meals
                                            • Figure 29: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals at home, by age, 2023
                                            • Figure 30: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals at home, by parental status, 2023
                                        • Meal Planning Responsibility

                                          • The division of meal planning responsibilities is similar to cooking
                                            • Figure 31: Responsibility for meal planning, 2023
                                          • Younger adults are more likely to share responsibility for meal planning
                                            • Figure 32: Responsibility for meal planning, by age, 2023
                                          • As with cooking, moms continue to be the main planners of meals
                                            • Figure 33: Responsibility for meal planning, moms vs dads, 2023
                                        • When Canadians Decide on Dinner

                                          • A couple of days before to the morning of is the ‘sweet spot’ to message Canadians around dinner planning
                                              • Figure 34: When dinners are typically planned, 2023
                                            • The morning of matters most when it comes to planning meals for large families
                                              • Figure 35: When dinners are typically planned, by number of children in the household, 2023
                                          • Perceived Cooking Ability

                                            • More Canadians view their skills as being ‘basic’ than ‘advanced’
                                              • Figure 36: Perceived level of cooking ability, 2023
                                              • Figure 37: Perceived level of cooking ability’s impact of what’s important when planning/preparing meals, 2023
                                            • Older women are the most confident cooks
                                              • Figure 38: Perceived level of cooking ability, by age and gender, 2023
                                            • Younger adults aspire to be better cooks
                                              • Figure 39: “I aspire to be better at cooking” (% agree), by age, 2023
                                            • Most don’t aim for perfection when cooking
                                              • Figure 40: Nailed It | Trailer [HD] | Netflix, 2018
                                              • Figure 41: Attitudes towards cooking ability, 2023
                                          • Enjoyment of Cooking

                                            • Over half of Canadians either like or love cooking
                                              • Figure 42: Enjoyment of cooking, 2023
                                            • Age and gender impact the enjoyment of cooking
                                              • Figure 43: Enjoyment of cooking, by age, 2023
                                              • Figure 44: Enjoyment of cooking, moms vs dads, 2023
                                              • Figure 45: Enjoyment of cooking, Chinese vs South Asians vs overall population, 2023
                                          • What Matters when Planning or Cooking Meals

                                            • When planning or cooking meals, ease matters most
                                              • Figure 46: What matters when cooking or preparing home-cooked meals, 2023
                                              • Figure 47: Southwest Style Chipotle Chicken & Southwest Style Cheesy Rice (US), 2023
                                            • Familiarity’s importance is driven by older consumers
                                              • Figure 48: What matters when cooking or preparing home-cooked meals, by age, 2023
                                              • Figure 49: What matters when cooking or preparing home-cooked meals, by household income, 2023
                                              • Figure 50: What matters when cooking or preparing home-cooked meals: friends/family like it, moms vs dads vs overall, 2023
                                          • Cooking Behaviours

                                            • Efficiency matters in the kitchen
                                                • Figure 51: Behaviours when cooking dinners at home (at least once a week), 2023
                                                • Figure 52: Behaviours when cooking dinners at home, by frequency, 2023
                                              • Younger adults are more likely to embrace different way of preparing meals
                                                • Figure 53: Behaviours when cooking dinners at home engaged in (at least once a week), by age, 2023
                                                • Figure 54: Behaviours when cooking dinners at home engaged in (at least once a week), moms vs dads, 2023
                                            • Sources of Ideas

                                              • Personal connections are the main source for meal ideas
                                                  • Figure 55: Sources of meal ideas, 2023
                                                • Younger Canadians are more reliant on social media for inspiration and instruction
                                                  • Figure 56: Sources of meal ideas, by age, 2023
                                                  • Figure 57: Sources of meal ideas, moms vs dads, 2023
                                                  • Figure 58: Sources of meal ideas, Quebec vs overall, 2023
                                              • The Impact of Food Inflation on Meal Preparation

                                                • Higher food prices impact Canadians’ attitudes towards meal planning and preparation
                                                  • Figure 59: Attitudes towards meal planning/preparation and budgeting, 2023
                                                • Younger consumers are more likely to adjust their meal preparation habits to save money
                                                  • Figure 60: Attitudes towards meal planning/preparation and budgeting, by age, 2023
                                                  • Figure 61: Attitudes towards meal planning/preparation and budgeting, by perceived financial health, 2023
                                              • The Pandemic’s Impact on Cooking Habits

                                                • Most Canadians claim to be cooking more versus before the pandemic
                                                  • Figure 62: Change in cooking habits versus before the pandemic, 2023
                                                  • Figure 63: “My cooking skills have improved compared to before the start of the pandemic” (% agree), moms vs dads, 2023
                                              • Emotions and Meal Preparation

                                                • Nearly all Canadians derive satisfaction from cooking
                                                  • Figure 64: Emotive connections to cooking, 2023
                                                • Canadians’ desire to multitask while cooking opens up unique advertising opportunities
                                                  • Figure 65: Emotive connections to cooking (% agree), by generation, 2023
                                                • Parents of multiple children are more likely to interpret cooking as a way to manage stress
                                                  • Figure 66: “Cooking can help me with managing stress” (% agree), by number of children in the household, 2023
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations

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