In its report which polled 1,005 Americans between the ages of 18-73, HUNTER found that more than half (54%) of consumers report cooking more and 46% report baking more.
Of the American adults surveyed who report that they are cooking more while sheltering-in-place, 75% said that they have become more confident in the kitchen and 50% are learning more about cooking, and 73% are enjoying it more than they did before.
The survey also found that outside the kitchen, consumers are ordering takeout and delivery from restaurants more frequently, and 22% report an increase in ordering mail-ordered meals and meal kits.
Impact on long-term behavior
HUNTER’s consumer survey revealed that among the Americans who are cooking more, more than half (51%) reported that they will continue to do so when the coronavirus crisis comes to an end.
Top motivators include: cooking at home more often saves money (58%), cooking helps them to eat healthier (52%), trying new recipes (50%), and they find cooking relaxing (50%).
"The study results confirm many of our suspicions and certainly corroborate many of the sales trends we are seeing in the marketplace," said Heddy DeMaria, chief insights officer at Hunter.
"We have long regarded Americans as consummate optimists. When the going gets tough, they find a way to prevail and in this case, they are choosing to redirect their energy and creativity to the kitchen, not only finding joy in the process of cooking, but also in the benefits that come from it."
Adventurous cooking, new ingredients, less food waste
Many of those surveyed also said that they are discovering new ingredients (38%) and new brands (45%) as well as rediscovering ingredients (24%) they have not used in a long time during their weeks of home confinement.
Roughly one-third (34%) of all adults surveyed said they searching for more recipes and meal prepping (31%) information. Top recipes consumers are searching for are simple, practical meal solutions (61%) and ways to use up current ingredients (60%), although almost half of consumers are also looking for ways to cook healthier (47%) and inspiration to try new foods (45%). More than one-third (35%) of recipe users are searching for a cooking project and inspiration to learn new techniques, said HUNTER.
As a result of making do with what’s already on hand in the kitchen, households are reporting less food waste as the majority of those surveyed report looking for recipes that utilize the ingredients they already have in stocked in their home kitchens.
Divide between healthy and indulgent/comfort eating
More Americans (40%) are reporting an increase eating indulgent and comfort foods with snacking throughout the day being at an all-time high – 50% of respondents said they are snacking more than ever before – especially in households with kids.
However, almost the same amount of those surveyed (39%) said they are eating healthier foods throughout the weeks of home confinement.
And despite social media memes and popular jokes about putting on weight during the COVID-19 quarantine, most consumers report that they are maintaining their weight, according to HUNTER's survey, suggesting that a priority placed on health and wellness will endure during and post-COVID-19.