A higher proportion of American men – 43 percent – are cooking these days than at any point in the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, they’re spending more time than ever before – 49 minutes a day – doing so. Those are up from 38 percent and 40 minutes two decades ago.
By contrast, 70 percent of women cook these days, a bump from the 67 percent that cooked two decades ago but a definite decline from the 88 percent of women who cooked 40 years ago. And they’re spending 71 minutes a day cooking, also a small increase from 20 years ago but less than the 101 minutes they spent 40 years ago.
This data comes from a 2013 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina who used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey.
What’s driving the trends?
The higher level of cooking overall among men and women may be driven by an era of stagnant wages that makes cooking at home the more affordable option, as well as the fact that broad Internet access and the popularity of social media make it more fun and easier to do than perhaps ever before.
While women are cooking at about the same rates they have been for several decades, it’s the surge in men’s cooking at home that may be most noticeable.
Companies that make money off food are weighing how to take advantage of the trend, deciding whether to treat cooking as a distinctly masculine activity or to show foodie-ism as a gender-neutral hobby.