How can grocers help ease home cooking fatigue?
Forty percent of consumers consider “planning different meals every day” among the biggest challenges they face when meal planning, according to Acosta’s “COVID-19: Reinventing How America Eats” study.
That was second only to “grocery shopping because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in public,” cited by 45 percent. The third and fourth greatest meal planning challenges were cited as “lacking a food/ingredient needed to make a meal,” 38 percent; and “improving cooking skills,” 17 percent.
Confirming the ongoing home cooking boom, 55 percent agreed they’re cooking at home more often since the pandemic began.
Kitchen love, however, hasn’t enraptured all. While 35 percent of Acosta’s respondents have found a new passion for cooking, a quarter are sick of having to cook more.
In a recent survey commissioned by Sun Basket, the meal kit service, 55 percent said cooking during COVID-19 has left them feeling fatigued.
The survey of 2,000 Americans found:
- Respondents cook an average of nine times a week, and they’ve eaten the same meal 28 times on average since the pandemic started;
- Sixty-nine percent wish they could make a healthy dinner more quickly;
- Fifty-three percent are eating more takeout to get a break from making dinner every night and due to a lack of fresh ingredients;
- The most fatiguing aspects of cooking were found to be prep work, cited by 46 percent; clean up, 43 percent; planning meals for the week, 42 percent; cooking, 35 percent; and collecting ingredients, 34 percent.
FreshDirect last week said it was expanding its “meal shacks,” or easy planning solutions, to address home cooking challenges. “As a dad and former chef, I understand firsthand how families now need to provide more meals on the table, which can add stress during an already uncertain time,” said David McInerney, FreshDirect’s CEO, in a statement.
In an article for the New Jersey Herald exploring home cooking burnout, Sarah Curran, a registered dietitian with Rutgers Cooperative Extension wrote that including all family members in the meal planning process, repurposing leftovers, relying on convenient ingredients and “putting a fun spin on it all can help you begin to overcome COVID meal fatigue.”
- New Acosta Report Details How COVID-19 Is Reinventing How America Eats – Acosta
- COVID-19: Reinventing How America Eats – Acosta
- FreshDirect sees back-to-school sales lift – Supermarket News
- FreshDirect Sees 46% Bump From Pandemic Back-to-School Sales – Winsight Grocery Business
- Will grocers maintain COVID share gains as restaurants reopen? – RetailWire
- Americans experiencing cooking fatigue while stuck at home during the pandemic – Sun Basket
- Americans are starting to get sick of cooking at home – New York Post
- Meal Planning Is a Good Idea Right Now – Lifehacker
- Survey: Cooking more at home could become the new normal post-pandemic – FoodNavigator-USA
- Overcoming COVID meal fatigue – NJ Herald
- Burned Out: How to grocery shop when you’re sick of cooking – Salon
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What steps can grocers take to remedy home cooking fatigue and ensure home cooking trends remain favorable post-pandemic? Should grocers ramp up prepared meal options or encourage home meal preparation despite the complaints?