Cooking shows: show, tell, cash in

Articles
September 01, 2010

Cooking shows: show, tell, cash in

How much of water cooler talk revolves around food television programming? How influential are cooking shows on actual purchases at retail? Supermarket operators might be surprised to know the high viewership rates of cooking programs and the sales they generate, according to new Harris Interactive poll findings.

How much of water cooler talk revolves around food television programming? How influential are cooking shows on actual purchases at retail? Supermarket operators might be surprised to know the high viewership rates of cooking programs and the sales they generate, according to new Harris Interactive poll findings.

Before sharing these figures, however, The Lempert Report urges grocers to consider ways to capitalize on consumer interest in cooking shows. We think it would be great if the producers of these shows could share their upcoming lineup of featured foods with retailers (in a way that doesn’t compromise their own competitiveness), and retailers could line up item distribution and build high-profile displays of the assembled products. With the right signage, recipe support and merchandising cues in store, we believe grocers could add destination power and incremental sales and profits to their performance.

These displays could channel viewer enthusiasm into cash, as long as they take the legwork out of the process for shoppers and create one-stop spots for immediate gratification.

How big is this potential opportunity?
Some 55% of Boomers (ages 46 to 64) watch cooking shows ‘very often or occasionally.’ So do 54% of women across all age groups, and 51% of Generation Xers (ages 34 to 45), noted Harris. The backdrop for this viewing: 79% of U.S. adults express that they enjoy cooking, and 41% prepare at-home meals five or more times weekly.

Some 68% of meal preparers at home (89% of the populace) say they seek out new recipes to try new foods and techniques ‘very often or occasionally.’

The biggest kick for food stores: 57% of cooking show viewers say they’ve bought food as a result of watching a cooking program; 36% bought small kitchen gadgets; 24% bought cookbooks, according to the data. The proportion of viewers that bought food was fairly consistent across age groups: 57%, Echo Boomers (ages 18 to 33), 59%, Generation X, 60%, Boomers; 46%, Mature (ages 65+).

Their top five cooking shows, according to Harris: 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, Paula’s Home Cooking with Paula Deen, Emeril Live with Emeril Lagasse, Iron Chef and Good Eats.