Gastrosexuals show passion for food at home

Articles
October 24, 2008

Gastrosexuals show passion for food at home

Food as a romance enhancer goes back the length of time. (“You like your raptor roast rare, dear?” Or in the Roman era, “a goblet of mulsum with your porca, honey?”) But tagging men as proficient and happy in the home kitchen—beyond the barbecue—is a distinctly 2008 development, with a recession wrinkle thrown in for good measure. Never mind chefs Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay for the moment; they’re great in the kitchen, but that’s their profession. A new study by Experian’s Future Foundation done for PurAsia tells much about men who cook, food culture, family and society—a very different view. One of its findings: 23% of 18-34 year-old men say they cook to impress or potentially seduce a partner, as opposed to 11% of women in the same age range. “The ability to cook will only make a man look more sophisticated, more modern and more aware of what’s going on today,” said Dan Davies, deputy editor, Esquire magazine, who is quoted in the report.

Food as a romance enhancer goes back the length of time. (“You like your raptor roast rare, dear?” Or in the Roman era, “a goblet of mulsum with your porca, honey?”)

But tagging men as proficient and happy in the home kitchen—beyond the barbecue—is a distinctly 2008 development, with a recession wrinkle thrown in for good measure. Never mind chefs Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay for the moment; they’re great in the kitchen, but that’s their profession.

A new study by Experian’s Future Foundation done for PurAsia tells much about men who cook, food culture, family and society—a very different view. One of its findings: 23% of 18-34 year-old men say they cook to impress or potentially seduce a partner, as opposed to 11% of women in the same age range.

“The ability to cook will only make a man look more sophisticated, more modern and more aware of what’s going on today,” said Dan Davies, deputy editor, Esquire magazine, who is quoted in the report.

Among Gastrosexual trappings that come with the passion to cook: High-end gear from brands such as Porsche Design in Germany, or Bosch and Viking in the U.S., which make more of a statement to some than, say, Hotpoint and Kenmore.

Some vital stats about gastrosexuals:
• 60% of men aged 25-44 enjoy cooking with family and friends.
• The group is upwardly mobile. Though not part of a social elite, they can generally afford aspirational brands.
• 53% of men say they cook with separate ingredients nearly every day.
• Interested in foreign cuisines, particularly Asian.

SG believes this movement, as trendy as it sounds, has roots that go deeper than flash. In our opinion, people (not just men) want a closer connection to food.  Today’s economy is driving more people into the kitchen for comfort and savings. With the overriding trend to stick to a budget by eating more at home,a related trend is developing to make the home environment more appealing, meaningful and sustaining—to feed the mind and psyche as well as the body.

Therefore, gastrosexuals in particular (mostly male, ages 25-44) are willing to invest in more enduring “things” at home—the higher-end appliances, cookware, accessories and consumables. Still less costly than eating out, these items last and they make possible the rebirth of an era of dressy dinner parties for their own sake, not just to celebrate holidays or family milestones. Gastrosexuals will revel on, show happy faces in tough times and display their culinary skills, perhaps with Rachael Ray in the background on a wall-mounted plasma rather than Frank Sinatra crooning on their parents’ victrola.