Levelling up the enjoyment of home cooking

January 26, 2023
4 min read

Home cooking has become ingrained in many stuck-at-home consumers during the pandemic. But with the rising cost of living, this routine will likely remain as they look to save money while satisfying their taste buds and making healthy food choices. Mintel Trend Survival Skills explores how cost cutting has evolved into a desire for self-reliance, especially now that inflation is in effect and a need to learn lost skills. Furthermore, according to Mintel research, 30% of single Indian consumers would like to cook from scratch when time permits (vs 28% of married consumers); more than half of Younger Millennials aged 25-31 also display greater interest in home cooking, which presents a key target audience for brands.

Upskill consumers in DIY handcrafted drinks

Influenced by European and American trends, Indian brewers have taken charge of brewing some fresh, innovative beer themselves in recent years, leading to the development of local craft beer culture. In the UK, Pinter offers a device that can create 10 pints of fresh beer from home and can be delivered through a letterbox with 70% less packaging and a 50% reduction in carbon footprint.

Pinter, a device to make fresh beer at home; Source: Pinter

Millennials have always enjoyed beverages accompanied by food and remain the drivers of the global alcoholic beverages market. With their growing interest in at-home cooking, brands can extend this to hand-crafted drinks in two ways: by appealing to the DIY mentality and by catering to their drive to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, as highlighted in Mintel’s Surroundings driver.

Hone cooking skills further with expert recipes

During the lockdown, India saw a rise in virtual cooking classes. Celebrity Indian chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and Vikas Khanna started to provide cooking lessons on specially curated recipes for in-home cooking and are inspired by everyday ingredients. This has been specially curated for the young generation in order to meet their needs for convenience as well as healthy and tasty everyday offerings. In Latin America, Disney launched a bite-sized culinary series featuring Latin celebrities to motivate consumers to enjoy spending time in the kitchen by cooking simple, healthy meals.

Modern cooking lessons by Chef Vikas Khanna

Provide affordable gourmet meal kits

With the popularity of home cooking, the number of meal kit launches in India has seen an increase from 13% to 52% between July 2019 to June 2022, according to Mintel GNPD. Many consumers, mostly Millennials, were inspired by the plethora of cooking shows on YouTube, and they enjoyed experimenting and cooking an occasional exotic dish to please the eye (or gut). However, shopping for ingredients can be cumbersome and the waste from leftover ingredients can hurt consumers’ pockets. 

To address this and help consumers build confidence in home cooking, meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients, step-by-step recipe cards and the assurance of fresh and healthy ingredients can be appealing. For example, Let’s Chef (India) offers weekly menus to choose from along with recipe cards and an icebox to keep the ingredients fresh at an “affordable price compared to its counterparts”. They also send kits for kids to make something on their own.

Let’s Chef; Source: Instagram

What we think

The pandemic has rekindled a love for home-cooked meals, with overall health taking centre stage. Consumers, especially those time-pressed due to day-to-day responsibilities at home and work, want to improve their lives by controlling their diets and, hence, are becoming more interested in preparing their meals. Cooking is also a cost-effective way to provide wholesome, tasteful food in the face of inflationary pressures. Now it is up to food and drink brands to entice consumers to stick to their home cooking routines and find better value for their money.

Saptarshi Banerjee
Saptarshi Banerjee

As a Senior Lifestyle Analyst, Saptarshi provides trends and observations to help local and global clients better understand Indian consumers’ psyche. Prior to joining Mintel, Saptarshi worked with various market research agencies across the FMCG, Healthcare, Media and Technology space.

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