At-home cooking is getting monotonous for most Americans

With all the increased time at home, it’s no surprise that 55% say cooking during COVID-19 has left them feeling fatigued.

A new study of 2,000 Americans found that due to dining out restrictions, consumers are eating home more than ever and cooking nine meals a week on average.

But Americans may be looking for more variety in what they cook and eat as the results reveal the average respondent has cooked the same meal 28 times since the start of COVID-19.

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sun Basket asked respondents about their relationship with cooking and healthy eating as it pertains to the ongoing health pandemic.

While many respondents enjoy cooking, they sometimes wish it was less time-consuming. Seven in ten (69%) wish they could make a healthy dinner more quickly.

Forty-six percent of respondents would prefer to cook a meal with less prep work and 43% would like to spend less time planning their meals out.

With so much else on their mind, two in five find planning their meals every night sometimes to be a tricky task.

In a dream world, it would only take the average person 12 minutes to make a delicious, healthy meal. Many consumers are looking for dinner alternatives on the nights where they don’t have time to cook.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, nearly two-thirds of respondents are limiting their trips to the grocery store.

Of those making fewer trips to the grocery store, 69% of Americans can occasionally feel limited when they cook due to lack of ingredients at home.

Three in five think they’re eating less healthy than they used to because they’re lacking in fresh ingredients.

Due to the lack of fresh ingredients and a bit of cooking fatigue, one in two (53%) are eating more takeout and delivery to get a little break from making dinner every night and 55% confess they’re eating more unhealthily because of the increased takeout meals in their diets.

Even though they can’t get to the grocery store as often as they used to, respondents want control over their cooking and don’t want to rely on takeaway home deliveries (46%).

“At Sun Basket, we know that consumer behaviors are changing rapidly as many are searching for convenient dinnertime meals. Now that Americans are spending an increased amount of time at home, dinner solutions that are nutritious, delicious and easy to prep have become a priority. Our fastest meal option yet, Fresh & Ready meals, require no prep and feature in-season ingredients grown for peak flavor, relieving the stress of cooking every night of the week” said Justine Kelly, executive chef at Sun Basket.

Three in five have considered ordering pre-made meals and two in five have ordered meal kits before.

Additionally, three in five have thought about pre-made, heat and eat meals.

When asked about the most enticing aspects of meal kits, the top three preferences were convenience (47%), precisely measured ingredients (39%) and variety of curated recipes available (39%).

Chef Justine Kelly added, “With convenience being a priority for many consumers, our Fresh & Ready meals are pre-prepared in wooden trays and can be ready in as little as six minutes. We wanted these meals to encompass everything in our classic meal kits, but with a shorter prep and cook time. Fresh & Ready meals cater to a variety of dietary preferences, are dietician-approved and use organic, fresh produce making them the perfect option for those looking for high-quality, convenient meals delivered straight to their doorstep.”


1. Prep work 46%

2. Clean up 43%

3. Planning meals for the week 42%

4. Cooking 35%

5. Collecting ingredients 34%

6. Waiting for food to be ready 28%

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