cooking millennials

The Co-op is teaming up with online cookery channel Sortedfood after a report showed millennials were lacking in cooking skills.

The partnership follows research by the retailer that uncovered a cooking skills gap across the country and among young people in particular.

The report, titled ‘Millennials’ Cooking Skills Gap’, showed home cooking had decreased by more than half (54%) in the past 30 years.

Among millennials, more than one in four (27%) were not interested in learning how to cook and 28% of those who couldn’t cook did not see why they should learn.

Almost a third (31%) only had a limited repertoire of dishes they could cook, and 48% were relying on parents to teach them how to cook.

Around one in six (16%) said cooking was just a ‘means to an end’ rather than something they chose to do because they liked it, a problem the report blamed on schools.

“The results of this research drew just one conclusion - people across the country are being failed by the systems put in place to help them gain essential cooking skills,” it said.

The Co-op said that the continuous growth in the ‘meal inspirations’ sector of food retailing, which had been consistently ahead of the total food and drink market over the past two years, suggested consumers were not shopping for completely raw ingredients and were instead opting for ready meals and assisted cooking options, such as pasta sauces and prepared salad boxes.

The retailer said it was now joining forces with Sortedfood to tackle the skills gap highlighted by the report.

No details have been announced yet but they could involve The Co-operative Academy Leeds, whose principal is Jonny Mitchell, who came to prominence as the headteacher in the 2013 Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire.

“Over half of those surveyed feel that schools have a responsibility to teach the future generation important life skills, including cooking, but sadly only 16% of millennials say they learnt to cook through education,” he said.

“One in four blame a lack of skills and interest in cookery and the quality of lessons they received at school and college.”

Sortedfood co-founder Jamie Spafford said: “Food has become not just physical sustenance but also a social currency - our generation often look for recognition of their food across social media and they want to be inspired with new, novel and different ways of cooking, yet this age of cooks is slowly dying out if millennials aren’t better equipped to learn to cook.”