Today’s Home Cooks Rely on the Internet, Don’t Give Up, and Love Stuffing!

September 04, 2015

Our consumer panel tells us about how they deal with kitchen fails, where they find recipes, and what side dishes they love the most.

If you’re a fan of the popular TV series Parenthood, you may have gotten a good laugh when the character Julia, a high-powered attorney, mom and an excellent cook, finds herself pressed for time and attempts to pass of fast food chicken soup to an ill community member…it doesn’t work and creates an embarrassing situation for her. So how did we decide to dig deep into the cooking habits of our own consumer panel? We started by asking them to tell us if they have ever passed off a frozen dessert as their own. Ninety-two percent said they have not, and we believe it, because cooking and experimenting with recipes is hot!

Here’s another way to get to the bottom of the habits of today’s amateur cooks. Find out how they handle kitchen fails. We asked our panel what they found to be the best solution when faced with a cooking disaster. Our panel members aren’t quitters! Seventy-two percent say they will salvage a recipe disaster with ingredients on hand. Another 12% will throw in the towel and order takeout, seven percent will grab a ready-to-eat meal from the freezer, five percent go out to a restaurant, and three percent call mom or a friend to come to the rescue! 

So what about parties? We’ve all been there. You’re hosting a holiday dinner, birthday party, or a super bowl gathering, and the pressure is on to satisfy a group of hungry people and keep them happy, while also secretly longing to impress them with your cooking skills and ease in the kitchen. Where does our consumer panel go for guidance? Eighty-two percent will turn to Internet for inspiration using sites like Pinterest, Facebook and food blogs. Ten percent will fill their grocery cart with frozen finger foods and appetizers, six percent ask the guests to contribute, and only one percent scan menus for take-out. And to add another interesting and related finding, our panel is less interested in traditional cookbooks and more interested in online recipes, and 34% of our panel that uses the Internet for cooking are baby boomers, so millennials aren’t the only tech savvy cooks out there. 

Finally, since the holiday season is not so far away, we asked our panel to rank their favorite holiday side dishes. And the winner is….drum roll…half of our panel said their most preferred side dish is stuffing with mashed potatoes coming in a close second and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and corn following. And here’s something to chuckle about, 14% said…”Nah…forget side dishes, serve dessert for dinner!” 

Big thanks to the huge response we got from our panel in this poll! The more you participate in our surveys, the more we can pass on to the food world, so they can learn how to meet your needs. Now get back in the kitchen and cook up something amazing!