New Research Shows People Are Over This Pandemic Food Trend

When you think back to your cooking habits at the onset of the pandemic, what do you remember — besides, quite possibly, a love affair with homemade sourdough bread (via Refinery29)? Per the "shelter in place" orders issued by many local governments at the time, Americans had to quickly adapt to a newly home-centric way of life — and as a result, according to food and beverage PR consulting company HUNTER, interest in home cooking shot way up. In its report, "America Gets Cooking," published in April 2020, the firm reported that of the 1005 American adults surveyed, 54% reported cooking more and 46% reported baking more; a trend that has endured according to HUNTER's follow-up data, published in January 2021.

That report, which surveyed 1032 American adults, showed that folks were still loving cooking at home, with 51% of respondents saying they were cooking more and 41% saying they were baking more than they were at the same time the previous year (via PR Newswire). A full 71% of those who reported cooking more said that they intended to continue doing so after the pandemic ended. But now it appears that the home cooking trend is finally leveling off.

Americans appear to be tiring of home cooking

Over the past few months, the Food Industry Association (FMI) has been sharing key findings of its new report that comprehensively studies the habits of American shoppers. FMI, a trade group representing food retailers and their supply chain partners, recently released its "U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2022," a six-part report analyzing how Americans shop in 2022. The section entitled "Future Outlook," according to reporting by Food Navigator, reveals that cooking-at-home fatigue is beginning to set in. Of the Americans surveyed for the report, those who responded that they love cooking dropped to 19% from last year's 22%, and those that reported liking it dropped to 22% from 24% in 2020 (via Food Navigator).

The report noted that 19% of survey respondents said they shop more often in stores' fresh prepared section than they did before the pandemic, a trend borne out in data compiled by location technology company Bluedot last month. The data shows convenience stores — even those located at gas stations — becoming increasingly popular among diners looking not just for a quick coffee or single banana, but for more substantial meals such as sandwiches and pizza. If Americans' interest in home cooking continues to wane, your local convenience stores and grocery stores' prepared food sections might get a little more crowded than you've seen them in the past.