Peapod, Chicago, released its annual meal planning forecast compiled by Engine Group, New York. Now in its third year, Peapod found continued and growing appreciation when it comes to a home cooked meal. In fact, 77% of Americans say they would rather eat a homemade meal than go out for dinner. Resolving to spend more time in the kitchen in the New Year, 43% said they plan to cook more in 2019. That number is even greater for Millennials, as 59% plan to cook more.

While more than three in four respondents (77%) prioritize cost savings, eating healthier is also important for more than half (51%) of respondents. Family time is also a bonus, with 41% of those surveyed saying cooking at home offers more quality time at home with family; Millennials showed the most interest (48%).

Weekdays are the times most likely to make a home cooked meal, with Wednesdays peaking as the most popular day to cook dinner at home (75%). Perhaps aiming to keep meal planning easy in the middle of the work week, Wednesday is also the most popular day for respondents to look to the convenience of meal kits (51%).

Health trends to look for in 2019
Consistent with the results from the 2017 and 2018 surveys, more than half of respondents (53%) expressed intentions of cooking more healthy meals in 2019. One in two (52%) is looking to use more fresh ingredients in the coming year, and more than half of respondents (51%) are looking to consume fewer processed foods in 2019.

Younger survey respondents were also more likely to express interest in trying new things for 2019, with Millennials leading in intentions to try items like jackfruit (27% vs. national average of 17%), tofu (25% vs. national average of 19%), Paleo products (21% vs. national average of 16%) and Keto products (28% vs. national average of 19%).

Another trend to try for 2019 is incorporating more meatless dinners, with nearly half of respondents (48%) sharing that they already eat no meat for dinner at least once a week. Eating meatless is more common among female respondents, with 52% forgoing meat weekly or more often, compared to 44% of men.

Convenience is key
Above all else, Americans are looking to keep meal preparations easy for 2019. Nearly half of all adults surveyed (47%) plan to take advantage of at least one of the following options in 2019—click-and-collect grocery shopping (27%), home grocery delivery (26%) and/or meal kit delivery (20%). Men show slightly more interest than women (23% vs 18%) in using a meal kit in 2019, and Millennials show the most interest, with twice as many respondents (60%) expressing intent to purchase as compared to Boomers (31%).

Millennials are also 3-4 times more likely than Boomers to show interest in creating weekly meal plans (51% vs 16%), cooking with kids (39% vs. 9%) and using home grocery delivery (29% vs 10%).

Survey methodology
Engine conducted an online survey among 1,003 adults comprising 501 men and 502 women 18 years of age and older on Nov. 26-28.