By Livy Beaner // SWNS
Millennials are embracing the comforts of home — one in five would rather enjoy a special meal at home than go to a restaurant, according to new research.
The rising cost of living obviously plays a big part in the increasing trend of making nights in a little more special — six in 10 millennials (63%) said they’re turning to treating themselves at home more now due to inflation.
But for special nights at home, people will still do things in style. The average respondent polled said they’d be prepared to pay around $160 ($157.60) for a two-person, special meal at home.
The research, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cabot Creamery, saw seafood, stuffed olives and a box of chocolates named as the most common “little luxuries” people treat themselves to on special occasions.
Woodfired pizzas, premium ice cream, charcuterie boards and spreadable cheese also featured among the top 10 indulgences people consider for a real treat at home.
While luxurious meals for two may not always be in the cards, little treats are important too - the average respondent said they treat themselves in some way close to three times (2.8) times a month.
Results also revealed that 21% would rather have an indulgent appetizer over breakfast (15%) or even dessert (4%).
“We’re seeing millennial consumers really embracing experiential eating at home; and looking for ways to make meals special and interactive,” said Sarah Healy, Cabot Creamery’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “It speaks to the rise of social-spurred food trends, like charcuterie and snacking boards. Delicious food is a universal indulgence, and inflation is causing a shift in how consumers approach treating themselves.”
And while everyone likes to be able to treat themselves, we’re a generous bunch at heart — respondents were three times more likely to want to treat their partner or spouse to a dinner at home than to simply treat themselves (35% vs. 10%).
The generosity doesn’t stop there. When hosting or attending a game night, big game party or night with friends, Americans said their go-to food item to bring is a cheeseboard. A quesadilla ring and chile con queso were the second and third most popular social night mainstays.
In fact, in order to make themselves feel more pampered, many respondents noted they will snack on artisan cheese (32%) or eat from a charcuterie board (24%).
But despite a devotion to the cheeseboard, it seems certain cheese knowledge is lacking for some. When shown pictures of cheese, just 9% correctly identified brie (mistaking it for mozzarella) and 28% could accurately name cheddar.
And a little more than two in five (42%) didn’t know that some types of cheeses are lactose-free, while 19% didn’t realize that cheese is a good source of protein.
“I’ve seen so many faces light up when I tell them that cheddar cheese naturally has zero grams of lactose per serving and is a great source of protein for any diet,” said Sara Wing, Registered Dietitian for Cabot Creamery Cooperative. "As a dietitian, understanding nutrition is key to staying healthy without sacrificing flavor. Whether you are lactose intolerant or simply looking to increase your daily protein intake, cheese is a great nutrient-dense snack.”
TOP 10 FOODIE TREATS
- Box of chocolates
- Stuffed olives
- Homemade baked goods
- Charcuterie board
- Premium ice cream
- Specialty jam
- Spreadable cheese
- Nuts and dried fruits
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Cabot Creamery between Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).