What are the latest 'Consumer Trends/Insights' on Cooking and Cooking Cheeses?

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What are the latest 'Consumer Trends/Insights' on Cooking and Cooking Cheeses?

While home cooking among Americans has dropped dramatically in recent decades, many millennials say that they do want to begin cooking again. The digital world is stepping in to help busy urbanites learn cooking skills that they would otherwise lack: for example, Google and Youtube provide easily-accessible recipes and cooking instructions, while meal kit services offer pre-planned meals delivered to consumers' doorsteps. These trends, combined with the rising popularity of specialty cheese in America, suggest that people should start to cook more cheese at home in the next few years. In particular, goat's cheese and parmesan are popular in meal kits and online recipes.

WHO COOKS AT HOME?

There is ample evidence to suggest that Americans, in general, are cooking at home less than they used to in previous decades. Eddie Yoon of Harvard Business Review, in a survey he conducted of American adults, found that only 10% said that they liked to cook at home. A survey by Morgan Stanley found that 53% of millennials eat out at least once a week; however, this particular demographic aspires to cook at home more often. The same survey found that 80% of millennials think that cooking at home is a good thing to do. In 2017, 49% of people in this age bracket reported making "cooking at home" one of their resolutions for the new year. Millennials are more likely to make this choice if they believe there is a quick and easy way to do it, which is why many people are turning to meal kit services to help give them inspiration and save time.

According to research conducted by Think With Google, millennials who cook at home typically cook using their smartphones. They will search for recipes online and, once they have decided what to make, they will watch Youtube videos or search with Google for instructions. "How to cook that" is one of the ten most popular "how-to" searches on Youtube. Millennials also tend to cook with their family and friends, sharing the moment as a valuable bonding experience.

RISING POPULARITY OF CHEESE

In 2015, Americans consumed over 34 pounds of cheese per capita, higher than any previous year. In particular, specialty cheeses are gaining popularity in the kitchen. Millennials are more likely to visit the specialty cheese aisle than any other generation. Part of this surge in cheese consumption is due to changing attitudes surrounding high-fat diets, according to the Seattle Times. Recent books highlighting industrial food practices, such as "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Fast Food Nation", have also raised the awareness of the average consumer and spurred people to eat more organic and artisanal food. In 2018 the artisanal cheese industry is expected to sell $19 billion worth of product. Small cheesemaking facilities comprise roughly 46 percent of all cheesemaking establishments.

Several of the top ten Googled recipes of 2017 include specialty cheeses, including a recipe for chicken parmigiana and a breakfast casserole that calls for goat's cheese, Brie or Camembert. Goat's cheese dominated the specialty cheese market in 2017, and vegan cheese also saw a surge in popularity.

CHEESE AND MEAL KITS

Meal kits are currently a $2.2 billion business, and are used mostly by busy urban dwellers who don't have time to shop for ingredients or spend hours preparing meals. Millennial urbanites are some of the highest users of emerging meal kit services, with 29% reporting having tried one. As companies like Amazon join the meal kit scene and lower prices, their popularity should begin to rise, encouraging even more people to begin cooking at home. These services frequently incorporate cheesy recipes. The company Mikana, for example, offers 18 different specialty cheeses for purchase as "components" to incorporate into meal kits. The meal kit company Chef'd, likewise, offers 13 particularly "cheesy" meals each featuring a different specialty cheese, from blue cheese and cotija to grana padano and feta.

SUMMARY

Millennials seem to be the most interested in specialty cheese out of all demographics, and they are also the ones using online recipes and meal kit services at the highest rates. They cook with their smartphones close at hand, and use Youtube and Google to find recipes and teach themselves how to prepare food. They like to incorporate cheese into these recipes, and increasingly meal kit services and online tutorials are providing them with more specialty selections.
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