New research from Rouxbe, a leading online culinary school, found that over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has led more Americans to home cooking. Based on survey responses from 1,000 individuals, nearly 7 in 10 (69%) cook at home four or more nights a week, compared to 56 percent who said the same in 2019.

Post-pandemic, a quarter (27%) say they will continue to cook more from home than they did previously. Among the reasons for this shift include:

  • Realizing how much money can be saved
  • Becoming a better cook, which has lead to being able to make meals more quickly
  • Becoming a better cook; the quality of food increased
  • It is relaxing
  • It has become a hobby/passion

“There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, but spending more time in the kitchen is perhaps one that will prove to be beneficial in the long run,” says Ken Rubin, chief culinary officer at Rouxbe. “Becoming more comfortable cooking for ourselves is a gift that will remain, and we hope more people will recognize that foundational cooking skills are the key to confidence in the kitchen.”

The top three areas individuals would like to improve include making healthy meals, making quick meals and baking. In terms of specific meals, dinner ranked first for what most people want to get better at preparing, followed by lunch to take to work/school and desserts. Bakeries can cater to the growing interest in cooking/baking in multiple ways, including offering online and (once it’s safe) in-person classes. They can also offer meal kits that make at-home cooking easy for customers.