Future of Home-cooking in Singapore
In light of Covid-19 situation and the implementation of Circuit Breaker in Singapore, there is an obvious shift in eating behavior of Singaporean, particularly in their willingness to do home-cooking.
Previously, Singaporeans, especially the younger generations, are not fascinated by the prospect of cooking their own meal. There are many reasons for this behavior, but the main reason is none other than inconvenience.
With plenty of convenient food courts, hawker centres, and fast food restaurants around, added with the ease of ordering food from your phone, the younger generations do not see cooking as a worthwhile activity.
Why is that so? This is because the younger generations and millennials are very pragmatic in choosing what they do. They realize that time is a limited source, so they spent most of their time either by being productive (working, studying, training, etc), or doing super fun things (hangout with their friends, play games, watching shows, etc) to soothe their mental fatigue from being productive. Both categories lie in the extreme ends of their mental function spectrum.
Interestingly, the very act of cooking does not lie on either extremes. They do not value cooking as an extremely productive activity, nor as something that is really fun to do (well, at least for the majority). Thus, most of them categorize cooking to another category altogether, chore.
However, all this behavior changes in the face of Covid-19 situation. There is some interesting change happening as more and more activities are banned and stay-home practiced is being strongly enforced. This causes choice of activity to become limited, and when boredom has reached a certain limit, people will look for a new form of activity.
Of course, there are more factors that play into this new home-cooking trend among the young generation. Here are some of the factors:
As mentioned earlier, cooking lies in between fun and productive. This really suits the current situation, where they have to stay at home for a good period of time. Boredom will eventually sink in and people will have to look for a new activity. Hence, more and more people are picking up cooking.
Research shows that the majority of Singaporean feel more worn-out working at home than office space. By the time one chooses their dinner, most people will have to work out additional mental capacity, no matter slight, to pick their meal from a range of the usual, mundane choices of hawker foods downstairs.
By cooking, this helps to alleviate their mental strains accumulated during the day, and provide a fresh choice of food for them to look forward to.
High variety of food that can be experimented
There are plenty of food recipes online, from Chinese food, to Indian food, Malay food to traditional Mongolian food, that can be experimented on, with ingredients easily available in supermarkets. This has somewhat become a go-to weekend activity for most Singaporean.
Healthy lifestyle has always been on an upward trend among youngsters, even before Covid-19 situation. By cooking themselves, they can customize their own ingredients, choosing leaner meat, putting less sugar and salt, and ultimately creating a healthier dish that they can enjoy.
Last but definitely not least, young people’s action is usually fueled by social validation. By posting their creations on their social media, getting a few likes, approving comments, or even sharing, can make cooking a worthwhile activity and feels more rewarding.
This situation not only will fuel the said creator to cook more often, but it will also create a ripple effect that influences his / her friends to start cooking themselves.
Will this trend continue once the Covid-19 situation subsides? Well it is still uncertain as they will need to maintain most of the factors to maintain their motivation to cook. Cooking can also be an acquired hobby and develop into a habit that can be nurtured. But one thing is certain, when the younger generations are faced with the next adverse situation, they can certainly take better care of themselves.