December 2016 | Business View Magazine

8 9 OPENING LINES For busy families, time presents a significant obstacle to putting a healthy meal on the table. After all, a cook needs to devote at least a small portion of their day to shopping, preparing, and cleaning up after a meal. But long commutes and the demands of family activities make carving time for a home-cooked meal challenging. Still, more than half of Americans say they’re able to find between 31 and 60 minutes each time to prepare a meal, according to ReportLinker. Of these, 26% say it’s worth the time to be able to serve a healthy meal, and 12% do it because they believe it’s the best way to gather the family together. The survey also reveals that the more passionate respon- dents are about cooking–or the more frequently Americans cook– the more likely they are to spend more time in the kitchen. For example, 48% of passionate cooks say they’ll spend more than an hour preparing a meal, as do 30% of those who cook every day. Although cooking is still very common among Americans – particularly retirees, passionate cooks, and older generations – one group is much more reluctant to turn on the stove: Millen- nials. This generation, which ranges in age from 19-35 years old, has less cooking experience than older generations, and that, understandably, may make them less comfortable in the kitchen. Nearly one in four Millennials say they cook just one to two times a week–or not at all. That’s far less than older genera- tions, ReportLinker says. And because they cook less, Millennials are more likely to describe themselves as beginners. Almost a third consider themselves newbies, while about the same percentage of older generations call themselves experts in the kitchen. In general, beginners tend to spend less time preparing meals, and when they do, it’s usually to prepare something simple. In fact, 13% say they spend less than 15 minutes cooking, and 25% say they often cook the same thing, according to ReportLinker’s survey. Still, although Millennials are often beginners, they do seek opportunities to learn how to cook new dishes. For example, a third say they turn to cooking blogs and websites for inspiration. But one of the more interesting avenues they’re exploring are meal-kit delivery services. This emerging trend is led by startups such as Blue Apron, a subscription service that packages ingredients together with rec- ipes and delivers a kit right to the cook’s doorstep. Kits range in price from $60 to $140 and include up to four recipes a week for a family of four. All ingredients are farm-fresh and pre-measured. With little effort, even a subscriber with no cooking skills can prepare a meal of Spicy Cauliflower, Potatoes, and Egg Tostadas or Pan-Fried Francese-Style Chicken. Convenience is a key selling point. Buyers don’t need to shop for dozens of ingredients each week. But another, equally important, reason is health. These services don’t simply offer pre-packaged food, rather, they promise organic, healthy ingredients. There are hundreds of these meal- kit delivery services, normal in a nascent market. But analysts believe the industry could grow up to $5 billion over the next decade, reports the New York Times. Millennials could be a promising market for the services. They appear to be early adopters who are already driving growth. In the ReportLinker survey, 15% of Millennials said they had used one of these services in the last year, compared to just 10% of all Americans. For beginner cooks, especially Millennials, Blue Apron and other meal-kit delivery services serve up an important advan- tage: They can teach them how to cook. Seventy percent of sub- scribers say meal kits have helped them improve their culinary skills. Still, with such a large portion of the population doing their own cooking, it may be difficult for meal-kit delivery services to catch on. Eighty percent of those who have never used these services say they have no interest in trying them. To increase adoption and gain momentum, Blue Apron and similar services will need to market to Millennials more aggressively, finding mouthwatering ways to appeal to their desire for fast, fresh, easy-to-prepare meals. Does anyone still think that kids are learning about money in elementary school classrooms? Ontario’s Ministry of Education says they are but - long story short - they are not. New research has found that elementary students will learn just ten money-related words from Grades 4 to Grade 8 bringing into question Ministry claims that finan- cial literacy is included in the curriculum. Basic money vocabulary, words like bank account, debit card, income, earning, saving, deposit, spending, expense, budgeting, borrowing, credit, compound interest, fraud and scam, cannot be found anywhere in mandatory lessons and neither can any reference to ‘wants and needs’. If parents want to be sure that their children are exposed to money lessons early in life, they had best be prepared to teach them themselves. In light of these new findings, in-home financial literacy educa- tional efforts are more important than ever. When the education system doesn’t do its part, parents, some struggling on the financial literacy front themselves, must assume the responsi- bility for teaching kids about money. The findings, detailed in the report entitled An Evaluation of Financial Literacy Integration into the Ontario Elementary Education System (Barry, Ek-Udofia, ontario elementary StudentS are not getting the money leSSonS they Were promiSed