Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the cooking in America market including cooking in America market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the cooking market in the US.

Current market landscape

The vast majority (96%) of US adults cook at home. The pandemic drove (for some, forced) many consumers to increase their cooking frequency, and even encouraged some to take on culinary hobbies (eg bread baking). Just as the novelty wore thin, expanded vaccination and foodservice openings enabled consumers to venture away from home for meals and snacks. However, a new concern will keep some shoppers in the kitchen out of the necessity of cost savings: inflation.

A second wave of home cooking will result from price hikes on food. However, this time, consumers are tired. Close to a third of those who’ve turned to restaurants in the past three months admit to being tired of cooking at home and consumers’ expressed love of cooking has hit a low point. Brands have a renewed chance at resonating with home cooks, but they will need to do so by emphasizing convenience factors that ease the burden of cooking, including prepared and semi-prepared kitchen helpers. Ease of preparation (71%) and quick preparation (58%) lead factors important in meal planning, outpacing low price (33%).

Market share and key industry trends

  • Inflationary period allows for a second chance to make an impression. Brands that couldn’t gain traction during the pandemic can shift course to resonate with home cooks forced back into the kitchen in pursuit of cost savings.
  • Easy does it. Tired home cooks are pausing on sourdough starters and pancake cereal and looking for brands that make things easier (read: quicker) in the kitchen.
  • Brands can focus on skills building. Despite a decline in love of cooking, interest in developing cooking skills remains strong. Tips related to time and cost savings will have the strongest resonance.

Future market trends in cooking in America

Skills building remains an impactful means of engagement, with 72% of cooks interested in improving skill. Brands will win out by helping consumers build skills that enable time and cost savings more so than teaching them how to make the perfect pot roast. Turning skills building into a social activity can appeal to young adults, who are twice as likely as average to cook/bake with their friends as a form of social connection.

Read on to discover more about the Cooking in America consumer market, read our Outdoor Cooking – US – 2022, or take a look at our other Food research reports.

Quickly understand the cooking in America market

  • Cooking motivation and frequency.
  • Cooking skills and desire to improve.
  • Cooking habits and attitudes.
  • Change in cooking-related behaviors in the past year.
  • Factors important to meal planning.
  • Cooking with children.
  • Reasons for choosing foodservice over cooking at home.

Covered in this cooking in America market report

Brands include: McCormick, Sprouts, Siggi’s, Daiya, Instant Pot, Shady Brook Farms, Green Giant, Maya, Whole Foods, Barilla, Headspace, Zest, Dole, Kroger, Purely Elizabeth, Sargento, Pride of India, Giant Food, Dr. Praeger’s Purely Sensible, Kodiak Cubs, Sprout Organics, Cosori Lite.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Carol Wong-Li, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles and Leisure sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis on cooking in America market research to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While the number of home cooks is higher than it’s been in recent years, interest in cooking has hit a low. Consumers emerged from pandemic restriction enthusiastic about dining out. However, 2022 quickly ushered in a new limitation: inflation, which is forcing many back into the kitchen for cost savings. As skills building remains an impactful means of engagement, helping consumers build skills that enable time and cost savings more so than teaching them how to make the perfect pot roast will be the winning recipe for brands.
Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director Lifestyles and Leisure
Carol Wong-Li
Director, Consumers and Cultures

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Love of cooking hits a low
                    • Figure 2: Cooking attitudes, 2019-22
                  • Brands still have a doorway in skills building
                    • Figure 3: Interest in improving cooking skills, 2022
                  • Success in the kitchen can contribute to enjoyment
                    • Figure 4: Cooking motivation and attitudes – purpose, by cooking attitudes, 2022
                  • Affordability can be a focus of meal prep tools
                    • Figure 5: meal planning, by financial situation, 2022
                  • Key consumer insights
                  • Cooking Segments

                      • Segmentation factors
                        • Figure 6: Cooking segments, 2022
                      • Cooking enthusiasm dwindles, but a desire to improve skills persists
                        • Figure 7: Cooking segments, 2019-22
                      • Segment characteristics and opportunities
                        • Enthusiastic Cooks
                          • Unenthusiastic Cooks
                            • Figure 8: McCormick Let’s talk about umami Instagram post, 2022
                            • Figure 9: Sprouts National burger day Instagram post, 2022
                          • Aspiring Cooks
                            • Figure 10: Siggi’s Red, white, and blueberry froyo bark Instagram post, 2022
                          • Content Cooks
                            • Avoidant Cooks
                              • Figure 11: Daiya Plant-based burger bowls Instagram post, 2022
                            • Conflicted Cooks
                              • Figure 12: Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast leftovers Instagram post, 2021
                            • Non-cooks
                            • Market Factors

                              • Inflationary pricing will drive continued home cooking
                                • Figure 13: Changes in consumer price indexes for food, 2020 through 2023
                              • Americans like their meat, but want options
                                • Figure 14: Americans’ dietary preferences, 2019-22
                                • Figure 15: Household dietary preferences, 2022
                              • A third of US workers do so entirely/mostly from home
                                • Figure 16: Work location, 2022
                                • Figure 17: Cooking frequency – method, by work location, 2022
                            • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                              • Natural, low-sugar, nutrient-dense ingredients find strongest appeal
                                • Figure 18: Top factors when shopping for food, 2019-22
                              • Cater to the equipment consumers have at home
                                • Figure 19: Small kitchen appliance ownership/intent to buy, 2022
                                • Figure 20: Food launches with preparation method promoted on front of pack, 2022
                              • Value-conscious behavior increases benefit of versatility
                                • Figure 21: Small kitchen appliance ownership/intent to buy, 2022
                                • Figure 22: Whole Foods Italian Cheeseboard Instagram post, 2022
                                • Figure 23: Value indicators, 2022
                            • The Cooking Consumer – Fast Facts

                              • Cooking Frequency

                                • 96% of US adults cook
                                  • Figure 24: Cooking frequency, 2022
                                  • Figure 25: Cooking frequency, 2021-22
                                  • Figure 26: Frequency of cooking methods, 2022
                                • A quarter of men 55+ cook seven or more times per week
                                  • Figure 27: Cooking frequency, by gender and age, 2022
                                  • Figure 28: Frequency of cooking methods, by age, 2022
                                • Cooking can be looked at as a luxury and a necessity
                                  • Figure 29: Cooking frequency, by financial situation, 2022
                                  • Figure 30: Frequency of cooking method, by financial situation, 2022
                                • One in five Hispanic home cooks does so from scratch daily
                                  • Figure 31: Frequency of cooking method, by Hispanic origin, 2022
                              • Cooking Motivation and Attitudes

                                • Home cooks split on having to and wanting to, make it fun
                                  • Figure 32: Cooking motivation, 2019-22
                                  • Figure 33: Cooking attitudes, 2019-22
                                • Moms are more likely to see themselves as having to cook
                                  • Figure 34: Cooking motivation, by gender and parental status, 2022
                                  • Figure 35: Barilla Instagram post, 2021
                                • 18-24s are ripe for engagement
                                  • Figure 36: Cooking attitudes, by age, 2022
                                • Cooking is not a stress reducer for most, make it mindful
                                  • Figure 37: Cooking motivation and attitudes – purpose, 2022
                                  • Figure 38: Headspace No one act Instagram post, 2022
                                • Nurturing a feeling of success in the kitchen can contribute to enjoyment and a desire to do it more often
                                  • Figure 39: Cooking motivation and attitudes – purpose, by cooking attitudes, 2022
                              • Cooking Skills

                                • Majority of home cooks identify their skills as intermediate
                                  • Figure 40: Cooking skills, 2022
                                  • Figure 41: Cooking skills, 2019-22
                                • Brands can focus on skills building before interest fades
                                  • Figure 42: Interest in improving cooking skills, 2010-22
                                  • Figure 43: Interest in improving cooking skills, by cooking skill, 2022
                                  • Figure 44: Zest app Instagram post, 2022
                                • Younger consumers more likely to want to build skills, particularly young men
                                  • Figure 45: Interest in improving cooking skills, by gender and age, 2022
                                • Parents most interested in improving cooking skills
                                  • Figure 46: Interest in improving cooking skills, by gender and parental status, 2022
                                  • Figure 47: Pumpkin Spice Sweet Potato Dole Whip Instagram post, 2022
                              • Cooking and Meal Habits

                                • Repertoire
                                  • Majority of home cooks stick to the familiar, introduce incremental updates
                                    • Figure 48: Cooking and meal habits – exploration, 2022
                                  • Men are more willing to be adventurous in the kitchen
                                    • Figure 49: Cooking and meal habits – exploration, by gender, 2022
                                  • Younger cooks are more willing to explore options
                                    • Figure 50: Cooking and meal habits – exploration, by age, 2022
                                  • Cooking habits
                                    • Majority of home cooks eat leftovers weekly, make them intentional
                                      • Figure 51: Cooking and meal habits, 2022
                                    • Younger home cooks lean on appliances
                                      • Figure 52: Cooking and meal habits, by age, 2022
                                    • Variety packs and bulk sizes will meet the needs of parents
                                      • Figure 53: Cooking and meal habits, by parental status, 2022
                                    • Appliance brands could make a stronger case for lightening cooking load
                                      • Figure 54: Cooking and meal habits, by cooking attitudes, 2022
                                    • Change in behavior
                                      • More than a third of home cooks are doing it more in 2022; baking wanes
                                        • Figure 55: Change in cooking behavior – cooking/baking, 2022
                                      • Dinner sees the strongest uptick, breakfast/lunch wane
                                        • Figure 56: Change in cooking behavior – meals, 2022
                                      • A third of home cooks are trying new recipes more often
                                        • Figure 57: Change in cooking behavior, 2022
                                    • Meal Planning

                                      • Meal decisions
                                        • Home cooks are more likely to plan ahead
                                          • Figure 58: Cooking and meal habits – meal source, 2022
                                        • Young adult cooks more likely to decide last minute
                                          • Figure 59: Cooking and meal habits – meal source, 2022
                                        • Attitudes toward meal planning
                                          • One in five home cooks find meal planning stressful
                                            • Figure 60: Meal planning, 2022
                                          • Young adult cooks are strong target for meal prep solutions
                                            • Figure 61: Meal planning, by age, 2022
                                          • Affordability should be a focus of meal prep tools
                                            • Figure 62: Meal planning, by financial situation, 2022
                                          • Important factors when meal planning
                                            • Easy preparation will seal the deal
                                              • Figure 63: Important factors when meal planning, 2022
                                              • Figure 64: Kroger three-ingredient pumpkin cake Instagram post, 2022
                                              • Figure 65: Important factors when meal planning, by cooking attitudes, 2022
                                            • Affordability and easy clean-up resonate with young cooks
                                              • Figure 66: Important factors when meal planning, by age, 2022
                                              • Figure 67: Food launches with easy clean-up features, 2022
                                            • Those who are financially struggling prioritize time/money over health
                                              • Figure 68: Important factors when meal planning, by financial situation, 2022
                                              • Figure 69: Giant Food x Flashfood expansion Instagram post, 2022
                                          • Cooking with Children

                                            • Nutrition is a strong hook for parents
                                              • Figure 70: Cooking with children, 2022
                                              • Figure 71: Health-focused kid-focused launches utilizing familiar flavors, 2022
                                            • Support dads via teaching tools
                                              • Figure 72: Cooking with children, by gender, 2022
                                            • One in 10 cooking parents does so with their kids daily
                                              • Figure 73: Frequency of cooking with help from children, 2022
                                              • Figure 74: Change in cooking behavior – cooking/baking with family, 2022
                                          • Reasons for Choosing Foodservice Over Cooking at Home

                                            • Foodservice is a respite from home cooking
                                              • Figure 75: Reasons for choosing foodservice over cooking at home, 2022
                                            • Improving skills could be a social outlet for young adult cooks
                                              • Figure 76: Reasons for choosing foodservice over cooking at home, by age, 2022
                                              • Figure 77: Cosori Lite 4.0-Quart Smart Air Fryer, June 15, 2022
                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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