The Pandemic Has Made Americans More Adventurous When It Comes to Food: Study

Millennials were the most likely to don a chef's hat and experiment with new cuisine during quarantine so far

Photo: SWNS

As countries across the world enter new lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemis, a new survey found lockdown is actually making Americans more adventurous when it comes to their food.

The study asked 2,000 nationally representative Americans about how they’re keeping things interesting in the kitchen during quarantine and found three in five are using this time to explore new cultures through food.

Millennials were the most likely to don a chef’s hat and experiment with new cuisine during quarantine so far – at 69 percent, compared to 65 percent of their Gen X counterparts and a mere 28 percent of baby boomers.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Pearls Olives, the survey found 65 percent of respondents said travel restrictions have made them more interested in trying new cultural foods from their homes.

The top cultural cuisines these respondents want to try as quarantine continues included Italian (51 percent) and Mexican (44 percent) with regional American food and Spanish food tying for third place.

Just over a third of respondents also want to take a trip to France with their food, 25 percent want to reach for something Greek.

Within the United States, the top regional foods respondents are missing easy access to were tied between the South and the Northeast – at 28 percent.

Respondents were also asked what U.S. city is the best destination for food. The results showed the Big Apple is the foodie capital of the country, closely followed by Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

As the average pollster has canceled three trips due to COVID-19, 56 percent shared they have food FOMO from past vacations and have tried to replicate them during quarantine.

Reminiscing on life before the pandemic, naturally going to restaurants tops the list of food experiences respondents are missing out on.

One in five respondents also shared they miss spending time with friends and experiencing restaurant ambiances as well as multiple course meals.

This food FOMO has been beneficial in a way, however, as respondents are cooking more at home during the pandemic — an average of seven times a week compared to six prior to lockdown.

Six in 10 respondents also shared that the top flavor profile they look for in new foods is something savory.

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