The numbers of Americans who enjoy cooking and consider the kitchen to be the most important room in the house are going up, according to a new study.

More than half of U.S. adults claim they really enjoy cooking (53%) and more than a third consider the kitchen to be the most important room in the home (35%), according to data in a new report, Eating Trends: Cooking & Food Shopping, from market research firm Packaged Facts.

Those percentages are up compared to a decade ago.  

Packaged Facts found that most people who don't cook at home either have a lack of time to grocery shop and meal prep or they lack confidence in their cooking skills. The latter reason is especially prevalent among Gen Z adults (ages 18-24) and to a lesser extent millennials (ages 25-39). 

The meal kit industry is arguably the best example of a food industry segment that's making it easier for adults to start cooking more at home again, according to the study. The products are marketed to emphasize several advantages that pique consumer interest and encourage cooking at home. Meal kits appeal to important consumer segments, namely:

  • busy consumers who don't have time to shop for groceries or plan meals
  • high income consumers who don't want to or like to shop for groceries or plan meals and are willing to pay more for convenience
  • consumers who have few cooking skills but who want to learn to cook
  • consumers who live alone or in a small household, who don't like wasting food and want proportions tailored to their needs

Online grocery services provided by Amazon Prime Pantry, AmazonFresh, Instacart, and Peapod—among others—have also proven to be time savers for aspiring home cooks. Since 2013, online sales of groceries have more than tripled from $6 billion to $20 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26%.

Through 2023, online grocery sales are forecast by Packaged Facts to rise 34% annually, more than quadrupling from the levels in 2018 and coming to represent 7% of the total grocery market.