The kitchen has strong competition

Most millennials want to start the new year in the kitchen, but you shouldn’t be expecting a culinary renaissance. The truth is, there are an overwhelming amount of alternatives to home cooking that fit better in today’s fast-paced and always busy lifestyle. There are more food delivery apps than we can keep track of, endless meal delivery kits, and even free food at work. All of these easy options explain why millennials are 30% more likely to order food at bars and restaurants when compared to their generational counterparts.

So why do millennials want to cook?

Of the majority that want to get better in the kitchen:

  • 77% want to save money because eating out is expensive. On average it is 5x more expensive to eat out than cooking a meal at home

  • 51% want to eat healthier, more nutritious meals. People who frequently cook dinner at home consume less sugar, fat, and calories than those who cook less.

  • 41% want to spend more quality time with their families — and let us not forget that this generation is now at the stage in life where they are starting families.

The confidence gap

What is causing the gap between desire to cook and lack of time in the kitchen? Skill.

Millennials struggle to identify prep tools such as a garlic press and butter knife, so it’s not a surprise that when millennials do decide to grocery shop instead of browsing Uber Eats, its mostly for prepared foods, pasta and sweets.

It is not, however, their fault. Millennials are the adult generation least likely to have had parents who made home cooked meals because families have made the shift from one working parent to two. Modern women now spend 66 minutes a day in the kitchen, down from the 112 minutes spent in the 1960's. Unfortunately the men have not been able to pick up the slack -- today the modern man spends only 8 minutes a day more in the kitchen in the 1960s. While improvements in both parents’ accessibility to joining the workforce is positive, it is taking time for us as a society to figure out how to continue passing down generations and generations of knowledge in the kitchen.

Millennials are the adult generation least likely to have had parents who made home cooked meals.

As a result, millennials are not confident and not spending time in kitchen. Only 64% of millennials consider themselves to be good cooks and they allocate less time to meal prep than their older counterparts — only 13 minutes per day, which adds up to nearly an hour less per week than Gen X. Compare that to the confidence that Gen X (72%) and Baby Boomers (76%) have in their cooking abilities.

It is clear that we have a vicious circle — Millennials aren’t confident in the kitchen so they don’t spend much time cooking which again isn’t helping them gain any confidence.

A new approach to cooking

We The Cooks believes that millennials need a little help in the kitchen, a partner to cook with or learn from.

We understand that there are millions of recipes to follow and instructional videos to watch. Those are excellent resources and a great way to broaden your culinary horizons, but you need to be able to ask and get an answer to questions like “Does this look right?” or “Is it supposed to be taking this long?”.

Learning to cook with confidence takes a human factor.

We The Cooks believes that millennials need a little help in the kitchen, a partner to cook with or learn from.