It seems like every week there are two or three new studies showing how Millennials are changing the food industry. But this week, UBS issued a report suggesting that Millennials could make home cooking a thing of the past.
According to Business Insider, the financial services company said that online ordering and new delivery technologies (e.g., drones) are making ordering in so easy that in the future no one will cook at home. The report predicts that by 2030 online food delivery will be a $365 billion market, more than 10 times what it is today. UBS notes that this shift could be especially damaging to big food companies like Kraft Heinz and General Mills.
These findings are right in line with another recent survey from Porch.com suggesting that Millennials, for all their love of cooking shows, aren’t that confident in the kitchen. They rate their cooking skills lower than either Baby Boomers or Gen Xers do, and they are the least able of the generations to cook a variety of fairly standard fare, like chicken, broccoli, and eggs. Fewer than half of Millennials said they were able to blanch vegetables or braise a piece of meat.
This raises the question — do Millennials want to eat out so much or do they just not know how to cook?
A recent Peapod survey found that Americans in general would like to cook more — to save money, eat healthy, and waste less — and that Millennials were twice as likely as Boomers to make this a New Year’s resolution.
The trick is that meal prep needs to be easy. Convenience factors were at the top of the priority list when choosing a meal to cook at home. It also needs to be interesting. Peapod found that more than half of Americans said they’d cook at home more often if they had new ideas and that Millennials need the most inspiration.
Millennials probably will not kill kitchens. Although thanks to the size of their generation they have the most spending power, they are also comparatively worse off financially than any other generation. And it’s hard to imagine that drone delivery will bring the cost of having prepared food delivered down below the cost of cooking it at home.
More likely they will change how food is prepared at home. We’re already seeing Millennials revive the frozen food aisle, and they’re the biggest buyers of meal kits. Together with the Peapod study, these results suggest that food brands can draw Millennials back to the grocery store by helping them learn how to confidently craft healthy, convenient, and affordable meals in their own kitchens.