You know it’s a New Year when people start making healthy resolutions which tend to get lost somewhere in the middle of the month.
According to online retailer and meal-kit delivery specialists UCOOK, it’s not something that will fade as January comes to a close as there is a growing appreciation for home-cooked meals.
In the United States, online grocery delivering service Peapod released their third annual meal forecasting survey revealing that spending more time in the kitchen cooking healthy dishes is a top resolution for many Americans.
UCOOK co-founder, Christopher Verster Cohen says that South Africa is following suit, according to anecdotal research conducted amongst their client base and social audiences.
Cohen lists a couple of factors he believes are driving this trend:
South Africans are under increasing financial pressure and, ultimately, eating at home is far cheaper than taking the family out for a meal.
With the rise of meal-kit services in South Africa, consumers save money not only on travelling but are able to dramatically reduce their food wastage due to pre-portioned ingredients.
Health and ethics-conscious eating
Eating at home means that you’re able to select and control the ingredients that your family is consuming.
For consumers, choosing their own wholesome produce from local markets and ethical food suppliers is more important than ever before.
Cohen says it’s important to UCOOK subscribers that the brand is 100% transparent about their supply chain.
“A large portion of our consumers want to know that their ingredients are from ethical, local suppliers.
We ensure that our customers are educated about where their ingredients are coming from", he says.
Want to get back into healthy eating habits for a fresh 2019? With a focus on the highest quality ingredients, recipes designed with health and wellness in mind and free delivery, this menu delivers healthier eating with flavour. Order yours today! https://t.co/TavRh3GeeS pic.twitter.com/f5QYe4ZuVe— UCOOK (@UCOOKSA) January 16, 2019
Brushing up in the kitchen
With the plethora of videos, online demonstrations, Instagram feeds and YouTube channels dedicated to cooking, South Africans have access now more than ever to the ‘tricks of the trade’.
People are tempted by the content they are seeing online and are choosing to upskill themselves in the kitchen by learning to prepare restaurant-quality meals at home.
Cohen says that this trend has helped fuel the growth of UCOOK locally as the brand provides recipes created by well-known chefs, giving people the tools to learn new food preparation techniques and prepare impressive meals for their family and friends.
“You just have to spend two minutes online to see that South Africans love sharing images of their incredible home-cooked meals to know that prowess in the kitchen is something that’s admired in our society”, he says.
Focus on family
Cohen says that family schedules have changed dramatically in the past decade with the rise of ‘screen-time’ and the increasingly busy schedules of today’s youth.
As a result, families are starting to place more emphasis on mealtimes as a bonding mechanism.
“Mealtimes are a natural way to bring the family together to chat, spend time together and catch-up. It’s a time when all generations put their mobile phones, tablets and remotes down and interact face-to-face, even if just for an hour”, he says.