Cooking will one day be a hobby in the U.S., rather than a daily necessity. So predicts Harry Balzer, who for 26 years has tracked food trends for market research firm NPD Group:
“Cooking overwhelms almost everyone. You eat several times a day, and it’s a job to get food that many times,” he says. He compares cooking today to sewing in the ’50s and ’60s. Back then, many people made their own clothes. Now most people who sew do it as a hobby. The same thing will happen to cooking, he predicts.
“No one wants to cook. Cooking is a job. We want to make cooking recreation. We’re going to look back years from now and kids will say, ‘You mean great-great-grandma actually cooked?’”
We can see where this consumer trend leads: more restaurant meals and prepared foods. And of course this in turn leads to corresponding business opportunities, many of them in the small business market. It’s good news for restaurants, catering services, food service companies, personal chefs and other businesses that absorb the burden of cooking.
All of which adds to the ever-increasing services sector of the U.S. economy. Services make up the majority — over half — of the U.S.’s economy (GDP). We are a nation willing to pay others to do for us the things we no longer care to do ourselves.