The food a person cooks acts as a window into their life: telling a story about who people are and where they’re from. When I cook, I’m reminded of all the times my mom propped me up on a stool to watch her throw a meal together. I am also reminded of my trips to far-off places where cooking is central to celebrating and sharing their culture. It takes me back to the nomadic family I met while traveling through the Thar desert stirring who invited me to a meal of Dahl. A lost art, the proliferation of to-go apps, dining-out culture, and frozen meals overtook younger generations’ drive to learn to cook. However, TikTok and other popular social media apps are rekindling Gen Z’s’ fire for cooking.
Gen Xers and baby boomers cook for themselves far more often than millennials and Gen Zers. Roughly half of millennials cook dinner at home compared to 7 in 10 baby boomers. However, millennials and Gen Zers inspired to cook are turning to social media to do so. A study sponsored by Samsung KX found that 26 percent of adults follow foodie influencers on social media, with 12 percent admitting social stars taught them to cook. A study by Hartman found that half of consumers use sites like Twitter and Facebook to learn about food.
We live in a globalized world. Humans no longer define their identities based on where they are from but on their experiences. However, social media facilitates shared experiences. I don’t have to travel back to the Thar desert to learn how to make authentic Dahl; I can open TikTok, search “authentic Dahl recipe”, and find someone halfway across the world making their authentic family recipe. Not only is social media an easy way to find recipes, but the exposure to various lifestyles encourages acceptance of lifestyles and cultures.
But what does all this mean? Social media provides a unique opportunity for the consumer electronics industry to target the next generation of chefs with their connected kitchen products.
TikTok’s largest audience is Gen Z with 47.4% of its active users aged between 10 and 29. The same Samsung KX cross-study also discovered that 71 percent of adults use gadgets like smart fridges to help them out in the kitchen. Additionally, TikTok is the top app for consumer spending, which makes TikTok the perfect place for retailers to advertise their products. The number one reason people cook is affordability, and with rising inflation and gas prices, there is no better time for Gen Zers to keep scrolling and begin cooking their dinners from home.