Who buys cookbooks and why?

cookbooks on shelf

It’s a pretty safe bet to say that people who use this site like to buy cookbooks. But what drives people to buy cookbooks and who, besides EYB members, are buying them? Those are questions answered by a Nielsen survey and reported by Dianne Jacobs on her excellent blog.

Probably no one will be surprised to learn that 65 percent of people who buy cookbooks are women. However, some people might not have expected that even though food photos dominate social media like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, only 21 percent of the people surveyed said photos influenced their decision to purchase a cookbook. Apparently, recipes still rule over eye candy.

Which cookbook, websites, and magazine brands were the most recognized? Maybe not the ones you might imagine: Betty Crocker was the most recognized cookbook brand, AARP (Amecian Association of Retired Persons) magazine was the most recognized magazine, and Allrecipes.com was the most recognized website.

Another noteworthy finding is that eBooks only accounted for 16 percent of cookbook purchases in 2012. It will be interesting to see how quickly this number grows. The article also discusses other results, including which cuisines were the most popular and how much emphasis people put on looking through a book before buying it.

Did any of the findings surprise you?

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  • Lindsay  on  April 14, 2014

    I'm really surprised by the AARP finding – why not a food magazine? That also says a lot about the demographics in this survey, since the only ones getting AARP are over 50.

  • ckbkaddict  on  April 16, 2014

    This has to be the most bizarre – 26% of those surveyed said they cook once a month or less.

  • pokarekare  on  April 29, 2014

    Clearly a survey in America targeted at Americans! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wonder what the results would be if the survey was carried out in UK, Australia or NZ? I'm willing to bet that there would be a much smaller percentage cooking once a month or less – just crazy!!!!!!

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