About 65 percent of Americans who took part in the study have soy sauce “on hand now,” and 20 percent keep “solid pack pumpkin” in their pantries. Some foods are rarely seen in American kitchens. It turns out, not surprisingly, that Americans are apparently not very fond of mincemeat; almost 9 out of 10 households said they “never” have it on hand. Artichokes, turnips and almonds were not far behind. The report also found that what Americans keep in their kitchens depends to a large extent on the number of people in their homes. Larger households are more likely than one-member households to have “kid-friendly” items like sugary baking ingredients and candy. Only 30 percent of one-member households have marshmallows on hand, but that figure jumps to 59 percent in households with five people or more. A similar pattern is seen with frosting, dips and cake mixes. As for where Americans are getting their inspiration to cook, it appears that nothing beats a favorite cookbook. The most frequent source of a recipe was a cookbook that had been owned for longer than two years. Most households reported using them for dinner-oriented main dishes and entrees, followed by side dishes, desserts and soups. “Brunch” foods were the least popular recipes. Over all, 4 out of 10 households reported turning to a favorite recipe at least once a week. And although technology has invaded nearly every aspect of home life, household chefs are apparently unlikely for now to turn their iPhones into pocket sous chefs. Only 1 percent of Americans included in the study said they use a recipe from a mobile phone app at least once every two to six months. One of the greater surprises, said Kim McLynn, a spokeswoman for the NPD Group, was the way in which people of different ages rated their cooking skills. “Younger cooks rated their skills very good,” she said, “whereas the older cooks rated their skills lower.” The report, called the “Kitchen Audit,” has been published since 1993 and is primarily used by food and appliance makers for marketing and product development purposes.
Blog written by Ryan Pretlow, December 13, 2011