News + Culture

New Research: What the Decline in Cooking Means to Food Marketers

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Ellie Pierce

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Cooking is changing. When people do it. How often they do it. Whether they do it at all, really. People are cooking so rarely, in fact, that some have suggested pretty soon, cooking will become sort of a throwback hobby. Like sewing.

“Oh, cute! You cook?”

As food marketers, we were interested enough in this idea we decided to dig into consumer attitudes about cooking. The results were published in a two-part column in Supermarket News.

We surveyed 1,000 U.S. residents, asking questions like:

    • When you decide to cook, what’s your primary motivation?
    • How do you define “cooking”?
    • When you cook from scratch, what’s the occasion?

The results of the survey turned up a few surprises. Among them:

    • In our survey, men were more likely to say they prepare dinner because they enjoy cooking than women were. Fifty-five percent of our male respondents said they cooked because they enjoyed it, while only 48% of females gave the same response.

    • While one might expect that older respondents to our survey would be the traditionalists, we actually found the opposite. In fact, it was 18-to 24-year-olds who considered cooking to be scratch cooking — 45.5% said they define “cooking” as the kind of food preparation that uses flour and eggs. By comparison, 45% of those over the age of 25  defined cooking as using both fresh ingredients and prepared foods such as bottled sauce or canned soup.

What does all this mean for you as a food marketer? To find out, head over to Supermarket News.

We dig into recommendations and analysis from marketers including Lindsay Ferris of Lindsay, Stone & Briggs; Kim Bartley of White Castle; Eddie Yoon of Eddie Would Grow; Blaine McPeak, formerly of Kellogg and Kashi; and Reggie Moore of Land O’Frost.

Read part one here. Read part two here.

Ellie Pierce

Can execute figurative cartwheels, just not the literal kind. #NopeForever

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