Kitchens across India are undergoing an astonishing transformation as increasing number of multi-cultural nuclear families are becoming the new reality of India. Cooking has metamorphosed from a chore to a pleasure seeking activity that individuals like to indulge in, and often also as a means of expressing themselves, much like a form of art such as painting, sculpting, dance, music etc. It is closely linked to the satisfaction of being able to create an experience or transforming something raw into something delicious and nourishing for the people they love. It isn’t surprising, therefore, why #food consistently trends high on Instagram, even beating #funny, #beauty, #travel and #beach!
A recent study by Godrej Appliances’ Innovation Cell has revealed that people’s taste palates are far more evolved today, than ever before, largely owing to greater exposure to a variety of foods. Today, the influence of a myriad cookery shows on television and Youtube channels showcasing almost every cuisine under the sun; hundreds of budding eateries serving niche cuisines; increasing travel to exotic locations, thereby increasing exposure to not only different cultures but also their culinary inheritances cannot be emphasized enough. The study found that 77 per cent of all respondents are open to trying out different types of food.
Further, in recent years different types of indigenous and foreign ingredients have also become readily available in supermarkets and online stores, making it easier to experiment with food. And people are trying out more and more new recipes at home – about 60 per cent of respondents prepare something new to eat a few times a month, and about 30 per cent of the respondents do so a few times a week.
Another startling finding is that more men are cooking these days than ever before, with both spouses cooking together on many occasions. However, compared to females, males have slightly more tendency to complain about lacking creativity and lacking cooking abilities, coming in their way of cooking.
Today, children have much greater impact on what gets cooked at home as compared to earlier years.
The study, which spanned Tier 1 cities, found that for 60 per cent of the respondents dinner cooking session on an average lasts for 1-2 hours, and for about a third of them (32 per cent) it lasts for less than an hour. Further, people have different motivations/mindsets on different days while cooking, and the mindset impacts what they cook and how it tastes. Some of the typical mindsets that surfaced during the study are: ‘Indulgent’, ‘Health Conscious’, ‘Improvise’, ‘Signature’, ‘Follow’, ‘Chore’ and ‘Create’.
However, in spite of the paucity of time, if people have ‘better’ alternatives they will forgo their domestic help for cooking – nearly 41 per cent of the respondents were neutral to very dissatisfied with their domestic help.
Consumer mindset about healthy foods has shifted and they are ready to pay more for products that claim to boost health and weight loss. For a large number of people the singular motivation of cooking at home is to eat healthy. According to the study, approximately half (46 per cent) would go for a healthier substitute even if they have to compromise on the taste.
Head – Innovation Cell, Godrej Appliances, Nishant Bhaskar said, “The study threw up very interesting results. It shattered traditional myths related to Indian kitchens and provided a glimpse into upcoming changes. In an age of growing multi-cultural nuclear families, wherein different types of indigenous and foreign ingredients are readily available – the ball is in the court of companies such as Godrej to provide people with new capabilities suited to the emerging realities.”