Almost all shoppers watch cooking shows

November 05, 2014

How supermarkets can leverage the cooking show trend.

It’s been many years since Julia Child broke new ground for home cooks by teaching Americans how to prepare French cuisine in her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, followed by her success as a television celebrity chef. And since then, the food TV world has exploded from your basic recipe demonstrations to highly competitive cooking contests, reality shows, restaurant makeovers, great food destinations around the world, farm to table, pastry contests, and more. What The Lempert Report (TLR) can predict from a recent SupermarketGuru online survey, is that the voice and personality of all things food through television and video, is not fading in the least. 

Are you ready for this? Ninety-one percent of respondents in the SG quick poll on cooking shows, said they watch food shows! And although the use of computers and mobile devices may play a significant role in the promotion of cooking shows, it’s the good old fashioned TV that most people like to use to watch their shows (96%). 

It’s not just once in a while that our respondents say they watch a cooking show. Thirty-six percent claim to watch cooking shows several times a week, 24% once a week, 19% two or three times a month, 15% daily, and eight percent once a month or less.

A majority, 79% say they watch cooking shows because they are looking for new ideas, 63% watch for entertainment, 62% watch to learn cooking techniques, 18% enjoy the competitions, and 16% say they like the personalities. 

Most of our panel has been watching cooking shows for ten or more years (64%), and most of them started with Julia Child (39%). 

What can supermarkets learn from this panel? TLR would say it’s safe to assume that most of your shoppers find cooking demonstrations interesting and useful, and of course, for the store, it’s a great way to promote products. And if your shoppers are more attracted to watching these shows on a TV, maybe it’s time stores used more interactive video displays where shoppers can choose from a catalogue of quick (2-3 minute) videos with everything from recipes to basic cooking skills like how to cook garlic in a pan, working with eggs, preparing pasta, etc. Or how about quick info or tips on deciphering labels, local food/farmer features, how to cut back on food waste, showcase sustainability efforts and humane treatment  of animals. How about using a retail dietitian to host segments on health and wellness? 

The bottom line is today’s shoppers are interested in all things food. What better place is there to centralize these food interests than the supermarket? Think of the store as a kind of video library for all things food!