Surfing Supercedes Reading When Preparing to Cook
By Bernice Hurst, Contributing Editor, RetailWire
Perhaps it isn’t all about
celebrities. According to market researchers Mintel, "over
half (52 percent) of Brits now say that they get recipe ideas from online websites
compared to the 46 percent who rely on cookbooks."
about a recent upsurge in home baking, Mintel’s
senior food and drink analyst, Vivianne Ihekweazu, said, "While cookbooks
have traditionally been the main source of information for baking recipes,
consumers now have access to a wide range of sources when looking for inspiration
or a specific recipe … the importance of the internet for recipes has been
driven in part by TV cookery shows and the celebrity chef boom — recipes from
the programmes are often available online immediately. … Online recipes
are more personal, free of charge and consumers can just print off the recipes
Ms. Ihekweazu also pointed out their usefulness as "an
important tool for supermarkets, equipment and ingredients manufacturers."
the American equivalent study, Cooking Enthusiasts – U.S., Mintel
identified several reasons for a continuing enthusiasm for home cooking. Chief
amongst them were preferences "to monitor and improving their nutrition
and that of loved ones." The "emotional satisfaction" of cooking
for others and using cooking "as a way to express affection and cultural
also cited along with avoiding "the expense of dining out."
the British report focused on baking, the American version looks more widely
at when, why and how people cook. This includes both family meals and more
elaborate ones prepared for holidays and special occasions as well as recognition
cooking enthusiasts, or gourmands, cook nearly three times more elaborate meals
per year than average."
As to reliance on the internet for inspiration,
slightly more (50 percent) use cookbooks for "recipes and instruction
on techniques" with
48 percent logging on, 42 percent calling on family members and 41 percent
trusting cooking shows.
Websites, however, appear to be "the recipe source
that young adults are most likely to consult" which Mintel said should
be noted by "marketers
seeking to create brand relationships with cooking enthusiasts," especially
into the future.
Discussion Questions: How is easy access to online recipes influencing
home cooking? How else can retailers capitalize on the popularity
of online recipes? Can retailers offer more to consumers who are increasing
their cooking repertoires?
[Author’s commentary] Several thoughts immediately
spring to mind here, which echo Mintel’s observations. First and foremost,
websites are free while cookbooks still cost money. Those expensive books
can, of course, be easily dirtied and damaged in the kitchen. Secondly, books
take time to produce whereas recipes can be posted online (and commented
on) instantly. It is also possible to interact with the person posting the
recipe and others who may have tried it. Those sites don’t necessarily
have to be celebrity-authored although they may be responsible, in part,
for the inspiration. Most of all, it may be that consumers want connections
and communities (aka social networks). This, in turn, can provide myriad
opportunities for retailers.
- Creating a stir – Internet now beats cookbooks for recipes as home baking
booms – Mintel
- Cooking enthusiasts – US – Mintel Oxygen