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Canadians cooking at home to save on groceries: Mintel

Market research company’s latest survey finds the majority of consumers are choosing to dine at home as food prices rise

More Canadians are cooking at home as a way to save money on groceries, new research from Mintel finds. 

The market research company’s latest survey reports 91% of consumers are choosing to dine at home as food prices rise, and 81% are adapting their meals to account for the cost of ingredients like meat and produce.

"Consumers' increased interest in scratch cooking opens up opportunities for brands to promote cooking, including pre-portioned kits with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. Although consumer interest in eating out has rebounded, improved cooking skills stand to be a long-term benefit for companies more reliant on at-home occasions, which will undoubtedly come into greater focus should Canada experience continued economic volatility,” Joel Gregoire, director of food and drink, Mintel Reports Canada, said in a statement.

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Seventy-seven per cent of consumers said the rise in food prices is pushing them to plan more of their meals ahead of time to avoid waste. 

When preparing meals at home, over half (63%) of respondents cited ease as the most important factor, followed by whether or not the food is healthy (55%) and the time it takes to prepare (51%).

Only 38% say that low-priced ingredients matter when cooking or preparing home-cooked meals.

Just a quarter of Canadians say that trying a new recipe is important when cooking at home, versus 44% who say familiarity is important.

READ: Canadians prefer to eat at home despite high food prices

The majority of respondents said that meals made from scratch are more satisfying (88%) and that cooking with others is a good way to connect (79%). Seven in 10 associate cooking with relaxation and stress management (72%). 

"Brands have the opportunity to engage with consumers by connecting to the belief that cooking at home is a flexible way to enjoy life's simple pleasures, as well as feel a sense of accomplishment. Greater focus is being placed on mental health, including its connection to food and drink. Brands that promote the kitchen as a sanctuary from day-to-day stresses and showcase how their products, such as meal kits, contribute to alleviating that stress, will resonate," Gregoire said.

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