Younger generation enjoys cooking more

Older people may cook for prosaic health reasons, but Millennials are more likely to cook to experiment with new flavors and show off their gastronomic prowess.

That's the synopsis of a new US report from market research analyst Mintel, which found that home cooking has become an increasingly popular pastime among younger generations who regard the skill as both a badge of sophistication and a status symbol.

"Younger cooks appear to be more interested in experimentation, with those in their 20s and 30s more likely to agree that cooking gourmet meals makes them feel sophisticated and smart, suggesting that learning to cook and cooking for friends is viewed as a way to establish credibility among their peers," explained Mintel spokesperson Fiona O'Donnell in a release Monday.

The survey, which polled 2,000 adults over the age of 18, found that while a quarter of Millennials -- a group that spans the ages of 17 to 34 -- said they "love cooking," only 17 percent of seniors and Baby Boomers said the same.

Apparently, better knife skills also come with age: while 15 percent of those aged 55 and older claimed to have advanced kitchen know-how, that fell to six percent among Millennials -- a fact that does little, however, to dampen their enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that for 51 percent of respondents, the primary motivation to cook at home was for their diet, as homemade meals tend to be healthier than restaurant fare and prepared grocery foods.

Among those who cook occasionally, other reasons given for cooking included the opportunity to try new things and experiment, teaching children how to cook, showing affection to friends and family, and perhaps most simply, to enjoy a nice home-cooked meal.

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