Maybe it’s a result of the slow food movement or perhaps Instagram #foodies are graduating from restaurants to their own kitchens, but the number of “Cooking Enthusiasts” in the U.S. has been steadily rising. In 2014, only 40% of adults over 18 identified as Cooking Enthusiasts; today 46%, or about 115 million adults, say they cook because they want to rather than have to. These consumers are highly engaged in the process of cooking and view it as a form of self-expression. Consequently, they are more selective about what they buy, take more time to explore new products and brands, and are eager to try new recipes.
Why Cooking Enthusiasts Matter for Food & Beverage Brands?
They can be anyone! Although research shows the group tends to skew slightly female, about 49% of cooking enthusiasts are men. Interest in cooking is also widespread across all age groups, although not surprisingly, they tend to be older Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers with incomes in the $50-$100K range. While they may be more difficult to target demographically, their involvement, interest, and emotional connection to cooking make them an important consumer for food and beverage marketers.
Inside the Chef’s Kitchen
Cooking means different things to different people. For some, heating up food in a microwave or toaster oven constitutes cooking a meal, but for Cooking Enthusiasts, there’s a deep level of engagement throughout. In fact, 73% of cooking enthusiasts say they cook at home because they enjoy the process, compared to only 46% of other consumers. Sixty-one percent of Cooking Enthusiasts say they enjoy cooking at home because they like to experiment with new recipes, whereas only 44% of other consumers agree. Wellness is also a key factor for this consumer—69% say they cook because it’s healthier than eating out and 47% say cooking together allows them to spend quality time with their family.
Cooking Enthusiasts find inspiration everywhere; while search, social, brand websites, or their favorite food site might spark their creativity, Cooking Enthusiasts are prepared when they head out to the grocery store. Ninety percent say they know what they need to buy before they go grocery shopping and 77% say they enjoy the sensorial aspects of the grocery store experience. The ability to personally select groceries and scan the aisles for new products contributes to the enjoyment of the cooking process. Selective about the products they choose, only about a quarter of all Cooking Enthusiasts say they trust others to buy their groceries. Reaching this group early in the process, offering content that’s likely to resonate with them and focusing on brand quality.
Mix It Up
Boring food is not an option! Ninety four percent of Cooking Enthusiasts say they like to use spices and seasonings in their recipes because they give food a unique flavor. However, Cooking Enthusiasts often fall into the trap of routinely using the same spices and seasonings. Encouraging experimentation through recipes, sampling opportunities, and awareness campaigns can educate consumers on new and interesting ways to introduce spices and seasonings into their repertoire.
Tapping into a consumer’s passions creates an immediate connection with a brand and builds trust. Understanding how to reach consumers is our passion. Women’s Marketing has a long history of turning dynamic brands into industry leaders across categories that matter deeply to women. Contact us to learn how our suite of marketing services can help your food and beverage brand grow and thrive.
Source: Mintel Cooking Enthusiasts November 2017