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Designing Dinner – Study Shows Increase in Home Cooks, Growing Need for Food Prep Tools

By February 25, 2016 No Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 25, 2016 – New data from Nielsen says shoppers equate cookware and kitchen gadget purchases with decisions about their health and wellness.


This correlation has led to a more than 6 percent increase in food prep purchases, according to the International Housewares Association. The study is presented by the Global Market Development Center – a leading trade association connecting more than 600 members to the latest in industry insights and strategy.


Spending in the housewares industry in the U.S. grew to more than $73 billion in 2013, with the largest increases in cookware and bakeware, kitchen tools and accessories and tabletop items. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. households use these items considered “food prep.”


“A combination of factors have revived interest in cooking and made the kitchen once again a major center of activity in the home,” said Mark Mechelse, director of research and insights at GMDC. “Retailers have a prime opportunity to increase profits by turning food shoppers – especially fresh food – into cookware and gadget buyers when placing those items where the food is. It just makes sense. Consumers today are pressed for time, and they want retailers to personalize their experience inside the store.”


The study, sponsored by Bradshaw International, notes that grocery stores capture 27 percent of the more than $7 billion in purchases in the food and kitchenware market.


Surprising Insights and Opportunities

While Millennials are an emerging segment in this category, Boomers still dominate. For example, Riedel Marketing Group reported from April 2014 to September 2015, consumers 50 and older did the most food prep buying. Yet, Millennials are not to be ignored.


“It’s actually the Millennials who are the single most important force now in food prep,” said A.J. Riedel, senior partner of Riedel Marketing Group. “Partly because they are such a big segment, but also because they are into food, in a way that the 40-to-49 and even the Boomers are not. They enjoy experimenting, and seek tools and techniques to cook at home.”


The percentage of households purchasing food prep products that have no children is significant, and closely mirrors the percentage of childless households in the overall population at 68 percent.


“The important thing for retailers and manufacturers to remember is that if they only target households with children, they are missing a huge opportunity. The trend to cook at home, and use popular food shows as inspiration to make dishes quickly and taste great, is growing.” Mechelse said.


For more information on the study, visit