As Americans adjust to self-quarantine and stay-at-home orders, their confidence in the kitchen has soared. According to a new survey by food and beverage communications firm HUNTER, many Americans say they will carry on with their cooking habits even after the pandemic.
In its report, which polled over 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 73, HUNTER found that more than half (54 percent) of consumers reported cooking more and nearly half (46 percent) reported baking more. Of those polled who reported they were cooking more while in quarantine, 75 percent said they have become more confident in the kitchen and 50 percent said they are learning more about cooking.
The survey found that some of the top motivators for cooking at home include saving money (58 percent), eating healthier (52 percent), trying new recipes (50 percent) and relaxation (50 percent). Many of those surveyed also said they are trying new ingredients (38 percent) and new brands (45 percent), as well as rediscovering ingredients they have not used in a long time (24 percent).
Roughly one-third of those surveyed said they are searching for more recipes and meal prepping information (34 percent). Consumers are searching for recipes that are simple, including practical meal solutions (61 percent) and ways to use up current ingredients (60 percent). Although, almost half of consumers are looking for ways to cook healthier (47 percent) and over a third of recipes searched for (35 percent) are for cooking projects and inspiration to learn new techniques.
As a result of trying to use what is already on hand in the kitchen, households are reporting less food waste as the majority of those surveyed reported looking for recipes that use the ingredients they already have stocked.
Unsurprisingly, more Americans (40 percent) are reporting an increase in indulgent and comfort foods, with snacking throughout the day at an all-time high. Half of the respondents said they are snacking more than ever, especially in households with children. The survey also found that outside the kitchen, consumers are ordering takeout and delivery more often, with 22 percent reporting an increase in the use of mail-ordered meals and meal kits.
Since COVID-19 has driven Americans into their home kitchens, the survey offers insights into resulting food preferences and behaviors, as well as the potential for these new habits to last post-pandemic.