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With the line between work and personal life increasingly blurred, people are getting creative to set boundaries. Some exercise every morning, some do a beauty routine every night, and others, according to Waitrose research, are cooking as a way of marking their time. We explore the insights behind this and why cooking has become an important ritual.

Cooking is the new commute, according to Waitrose’s Food and Drink report 2021. People are turning somewhat normal activities into daily rituals that serve as a marker of working-from-home boundaries. Indeed, 74% of people who work from home say that cooking provides a break between work and home life. The pandemic has also shifted Britons' perspectives on the food industry: 70% of people value the role of supermarket workers more than they did pre-pandemic, and 55% say their spending habits have changed for good. “Our daily rituals, our attitudes towards supermarkets and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic,” says James Bailey, Waitrose executive director. “These changes are here to stay.”

Cooking is the new commute, according to Waitrose’s Food and Drink report 2021.
RF._.studio (2020) ©

Food has become about more than just sustenance during the pandemic; it’s familiarity, escape, and adventure rolled into one. With holidays off the cards, some foodies are travelling via their taste buds, while others are finding comfort in nostalgia-inducing snacks and junk food. Cooking has not only been an economical way of providing for the family during a financial crisis, but it has also provided a creative outlet – which explains the rise of baking and quarantinis. With WFH likely to endure in 2021, there’s room for brands to help people make new routines that are both mentally relaxing and creatively fulfilling.

Precious Osoba is a junior behavioural analyst at Canvas8. Fascinated by the how's and why's of people & culture, she has a background in social sciences having studied Anthropology, Sociology & Communication & Culture prior to her Marketing Degree.

14 Jan 21
2 min read

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