Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Cooking in America Consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Current Market Landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the circumstances that directly influence cooking at home, from safety concerns about dining out, increasing prices of groceries, and added time spent at home. Surprisingly, even after over a year under these conditions, the majority of consumers still have a positive impression of cooking at home and link the act with an array of advantages such as saving money and feeling a sense of accomplishment. For brands, this is an ideal time to connect with and hold onto these consumers in order to help them maintain their current enthusiasm for cooking at home. However, the pandemic has not affected all consumers equally and, for certain groups, has made cooking at home yet another daily challenge that must be faced. To reach these consumers, it is more important than ever for brands to act as a resource to them. Brands can do this by offering simple solutions, like quick recipes and convenience options to help them cross the cooking task off of their list.

Future Market Trends in US Cooking in America

Read on to discover more about the US Cooking in America consumer market, read our US COVID-19 Impact on Food and Drink: One Year Later Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Food And Foodservice Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Changes in cooking habits and behaviors over the past year.
  • Top sources for recipes and cooking inspiration.
  • The perceived benefits of cooking at home.
  • Existing hurdles keeping consumers form cooking more at home.
  • Home cooking trends in America.
  • Cooking in America market research.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Williams Sonoma, White Castle, Aldi, Dove Men+Care, Our Place, Huel, Apothekary, Babbel, HelloFresh, KitchenAid, Tadka Tarot, Trader Joe’s, America’s Test Kitchen, Deux, Magnolia, Target, TikTok, Purex, Misfits Market, Mindright, Aldi, Whole Foods, IGTV, Headspace, Coca-Cola, Publix, Omsom, Instant Pot, Waffles + Mochi, Souper Cubes, Yumble.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Klaudia Kondakciu, a leading analyst in the Consumers and Cultures sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Brands in the at-home food space are well positioned as the conditions surrounding the pandemic have led to an increased reliance on meals made at home. Currently, safety concerns around eating out combined with rising inflation are keeping consumers in their own kitchens. Fortunately for brands, this time spent cooking at home is reminding consumers of the many benefits that come from cooking their own meals and is deepening the desire to improve cooking skills even further. Looking ahead, brands will need to help consumers maintain these positive impressions to make sure they stick well past the pandemic.

Klaudia Kondakciu, Consumers and Cultures Analyst
Klaudia Kondakciu
Consumers and Cultures Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definitions
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on cooking at home
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on attitudes toward cooking at home, 2021
    • Opportunities
    • Help consumers feed their hunger to learn
    • Elicit emotions to connect on a deeper level
    • Incorporate cooking into consumers’ self-care routines
    • Challenges
    • Rising costs will lead to shrinking budgets
    • Limited time keeps people from cooking more
  3. The Market – What You Need to Know

    • At-home food sees benefits as COVID keeps consumers inside
    • Rising food costs are increasing the focus on value
    • More equitable division of labor is needed in the household
  4. Cooking Segments

    • Segmentation factors
      • Figure 2: Consumer cooking segments, 2021
    • High-priority segments
      • Figure 3: High-priority cooking segments, 2021
    • Enthusiastic Cooks
      • Figure 4: Williams Sonoma Pinterest post, 2021
    • Unenthusiastic Cooks
    • Aspiring Cooks
    • Conflicted Cooks
    • Low-priority segments
      • Figure 5: Low-priority cooking segments, 2021
    • Avoidant Cooks
    • Content Cooks
    • Non-cooks
  5. Market Factors and Current Opportunities

    • COVID continues to keep consumers cooking at home
      • Figure 6: Cooking frequency, 2019-21
      • Figure 7: Sales of food at home and away from home, 2010-21
    • Plenty of opportunity exists for at-home foods
      • Figure 8: White Castle’s National Slider Day email, 2021
    • Rising costs are changing the way consumers shop
    • Higher prices in consumer goods are already being seen
      • Figure 9: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2010-21
    • Increasing gas prices indicate further increase in food costs
      • Figure 10: US gasoline retail prices, 2010-21
    • Issues in the supply chain are a major contributor to rising costs
    • Rising prices will make more consumers budget conscious
      • Figure 11: Perceived financial health, overall vs Gen Z vs Hispanics, 2021
      • Figure 12: Aldi Instagram post, 2021
      • Figure 13: Aldi Instagram post, 2021
    • COVID-19 is causing setbacks for women
    • The pandemic disproportionately impacts moms, highlighting that they need more help
    • An increase in confidence could increase fathers’ involvement
      • Figure 14: Dove Men+Care Global Channel Instagram post, 2021
      • Figure 15: Dove Men+Care Global Channel Instagram post, 2021
  6. Competitive Strategies – A Look Ahead

    • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Identity Trend Driver
    • Aesthetics are about more than looks, they help signal consumer identity
      • Figure 16: Our Place Instagram post, 2021
    • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Surroundings Trend Driver
    • Prepare for a more sustainable future
      • Figure 17: Huel Instagram post, 2021
    • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
    • Consumers will be keeping a closer eye on their overall wellness
      • Figure 18: Apothekary Instagram post, 2021
    • Meeting the needs of home cooks through the lens of the Experiences Trend Driver
    • Digital events can encourage learning in the kitchen
      • Figure 19: Babbel USA Instagram post, 2021
  7. The Consumer – What You Need to Know

    • Home cooks in the US are eager to improve their skills
    • US consumers are getting comfortable in the kitchen
    • Brands have the potential to act as meal-time muses
    • Consumers associate cooking at home with a variety of benefits
    • Time is keeping cooks out of the kitchen
  8. Meet America’s Cooks

    • The passion for cooking remains steady
      • Figure 20: Cooking attitudes, motivations, skills and interest in improving cooking skills, 2021
      • Figure 21: Cooking frequency, 2021
    • Dads express a particularly strong passion for cooking
      • Figure 22: Cooking enjoyment, fathers with children under 18 at home vs mothers, 2021
    • Emphasize the emotional gains to be had when targeting dads
      • Figure 23: Cooking frequency, fathers with children under 18 at home vs mothers, 2021
      • Figure 24: KitchenAid USA Instagram post, 2021
    • Boomer women cook frequently and still want to improve their skills
      • Figure 25: Cooking regularly and interest in improving cooking skills, women 55+ vs overall, 2021
      • Figure 26: Tadka Tarot Instagram post, 2020
  9. Changes in Cooking Attitudes and Habits

    • Cooking (more) at home is the new normal
      • Figure 27: Impact of COVID-19 on cooking attitudes, 2021
    • Dinner continues to be the main focus
      • Figure 28: Time spent making specific meals compared to last year, 2021
      • Figure 29: Trader Joe’s Instagram post, 2021
    • Giving kids autonomy will give parents a break
      • Figure 30: Time spent cooking with the family compared to last year, parents with children under 18 at home vs nonparents, 2021
      • Figure 31: America’s Test Kitchen Instagram post, 2021
    • Young men are likely to embrace meal kits as they lean into cooking
    • Men 18-34 are cooking more
      • Figure 32: Time spent on cooking and related tasks compared to last year, men aged 18-34 vs overall, 2021
    • Shine a brighter spotlight on meal kits as they’re already paying attention
      • Figure 33: Enjoy time spent on cooking and related tasks compared to last year, men aged 18-34 vs overall, 2021
    • Gamify the end product of meal kits
      • Figure 34: Kostministeriet Facebook posts, 2020
    • Baking brands can benefit from functional ingredients
      • Figure 35: Time spent cooking and baking compared to last year, 2021
    • Position baking as a time to unwind and bond with loved ones
      • Figure 36: Time spent baking with the family compared to last year, parents with children under 18 at home vs nonparents, 2021
      • Figure 37: DEUX Instagram post, 2021
  10. Recipe Sources

    • Family recipes are a favorite, though Americans are keen to shake things up
      • Figure 38: Sources of cooking/recipe inspiration, 2021
    • An omni-channel approach can build a brand universe: spotlight on Target and Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
      • Figure 39: French Silk Pie with Joanna Gaines | Magnolia Table, Vol. 2, 2020
      • Figure 40: Target Instagram post, 2018
    • TikTok is not to be ignored when targeting Gen Z cooks
      • Figure 41: Sources of recipe inspiration, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 42: TikTok Instagram posts, 2021
    • Inspiration is everywhere, but parents prefer using YouTube
      • Figure 43: Sources of cooking inspiration, parents with children under 18 vs nonparents, 2021
    • Dads look for inspiration as they spend more time cooking with their kids
      • Figure 45: Sources of cooking inspiration, mothers with children under 18 at home vs fathers, 2021
      • Figure 46: Time spent cooking with the family compared to last year, mothers with children under 18 at home vs fathers, 2021
    • Dads who cook with their kids need more representation
      • Figure 47: Purex®: Dad Stains, 2020
  11. Reasons to Keep Cooking

    • Most Americans have positive perceptions toward cooking at home
      • Figure 48: Practical and emotional benefits of cooking, 2021
    • Combine good deals and good nutritional value to attract the most consumers
      • Figure 49: Attitudes toward ingredients, % any agree, 2021
      • Figure 50: Misfits Market Instagram post, 2021
    • There’s room for mindfulness at mealtime
      • Figure 51: Mindright Instagram post, 2021
      • Figure 52: Whole Foods Market Instagram post, 2021
    • Emphasize the emotional benefits of cooking to connect with consumers
      • Figure 53: Coca-Cola The Great Meal, 2020
      • Figure 54: Publix: Family is always there for you, 2021
    • Cultural connections can be made in the kitchen
      • Figure 55: “Cooking at home connects me with my cultural identity,” % any agree, by race and Hispanic origin 2021
      • Figure 56: Omsom Instagram posts, 2021
    • Position cultural cuisine as a way for parents to connect with their kids
      • Figure 57: “Cooking connects me with my cultural identity,” % any agree, parents with children under 18, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 58: Waffles + Mochi Instagram post, 2021
  12. Basic Barriers

    • Kitchens are well stocked but cooks could use more time on the clock
      • Figure 59: Barriers to cooking at home more often, 2021
    • Remind consumers exactly how lovable leftovers can be
      • Figure 60: Attitudes and behaviors toward leftovers, 2021
      • Figure 61: Souper Cubes Instagram post, 2021
    • Highlight simple and healthy options for busy moms
      • Figure 62: Time barriers to cooking at home, mothers with children under 18 at home vs overall, 2021
      • Figure 63: YumbleKids Instagram post, 2021
  13. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Direct marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us