women cookingHectic schedules and tighter budgets have changed the way consumers cook, shop, and break bread, according to an audience trend report from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. The survey included 1,000 respondents over age 18.  Key findings include:

More Families Sitting Down for Meals at Home

  • 65 percent of those surveyed enjoy a sit-down dinner at least five times per week.
  • More than half the respondents sit down for breakfast at least five times per week.

Magazines, Websites, and TV Cooking Shows Primary Sources of Culinary Inspiration

  • When it comes to recipes, media are more influential than word-of-mouth recommendations. Respondents cited cookbooks, recipe websites, food-focused magazines, and TV cooking shows as their resources for recipes—ahead of suggestions from friends and family.
  • People are actively seeking mealtime ideas. More than one-third of respondents say they use recipes for inspiration more often than they used to.
  • Over 60 percent of respondents say health and efficiency are the most important factors when considering a recipe.

Time-Starved Families Sharing More Mealtime Responsibilities

  • Busy schedules have prompted families to divvy up everyday cooking responsibilities: 25 percent of women say cooking is shared among family members and that husbands are increasingly tying on the apron.
  • Prep time is changing, too: 48 percent of those surveyed cook in larger batches to save time.

Consumers Are Savvier About Products They Buy

  • Finding deals has become a source of satisfaction and even a passion: 81 percent of those surveyed say they are proud of budgeting.
  • Although supermarkets are the leading source for groceries, 55 percent say they shop at multiple retailers to get better deals.
  • Consumers are purchasing healthier products at the grocery store: 95 percent say they know what’s healthy for them, while 87 percent say they read food labels.