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The Death of Cooking?

As part of the Upsiide 2019 Food Trends study, Dig Insights examined cooking techniques. Our goal was to find out which cooking techniques are popular in Canada and the United States and how their popularity varies across genders and generations.

What did we find?

Compared to older generations, Millennials find cooking less appealing

Though this trend is more pronounced in Canada, all the cooking techniques tested are less popular among Millennials compared to Gen Xers and Boomers. Generally, cooking techniques that are more popular among Millennials are those that do not require much work, such as “Microwaved”, “Pureed”, “Juiced”, “Instant Pot” and “Deep-fried”. This corresponds with previous research, which found that only 31% of younger Canadians feel confident in the kitchen and that Americans are spending less time cooking than they did in the past. Several explanations have been suggested: the increased reliance on processed and prepared foods; the increased availability of such foods; and simply not having the time to cook. This trend also coincides with the increased popularity of ordering in: Millennials are three times more likely to order in than their parents.

Healthier cooking techniques are more popular with women

The popularity of different cooking techniques also varies between men and women. While cooking techniques that are more popular with women include “Baked”, “Raw”, “Grilled”, “Slow Cooker” and “Steamed”, those that that are more popular with men include “Smoked”, ”Preserved”, “Air-fried”, “Pan-fried” and “Deep-fried”. The “Cold pressed”, “Juiced” and “Pressed/rolled (e.g., meal bars)” techniques – which are often not as healthy as they are touted to be – are also more popular with men. Overall, healthier cooking techniques score higher with women. Indeed, it has previously been found that women are more likely than men to make healthier food choices. Research suggests that since girls are more likely than boys to be involved in family food preparation from a young age, they may be using those skills later in life to feed themselves more healthily.

The winning cooking technique: “Grilled”

The top five cooking techniques in both the US in Canada are “Grilled”, “Baked”, “Roasted”, “Barbecued” and “Raw”. “Grilled” scores highest in both countries. In Canada it ties in first place with “Barbecued”; in the US, “Grilled” comes in first, then “Baked”. Surprisingly, the least popular cooking technique is “Sous vide”, both in Canada and in the US. While many restaurants have been including sous vide items on their menus and companies have been marketing sous vide machines recently, it appears that sous vide is still a niche cooking technique for consumers.

Interested in viewing the full results and analysis?

Download the Report

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