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Recipe Trends Shed Light on Shopping Behavior


There’s no shortage of foodies and pundits weighing in on food trends, but it’s more illuminating when it comes from what consumers themselves are planning to put in their mouths. receives more than 1 billion visits annually from home cooks in 23 countries through its 18 web and mobile sites, two mobile apps and 14 ebooks. For the third year, the digital food brand surveyed home cooks in 13 countries, and recently released its 2014 Global Kitchen Insights and Trend Survey. It’s an interesting snapshot in time of what consumers are preparing to eat, and includes what they’re actually putting into their grocery cart.

From general to granular, consumers are searching for “Paleo-friendly food,” and ethnic flavors with lots of spices and fresh herbs, including Korean, Indian, Mexican and Thai, AllRecipes reports. Comfort food recipes, such as meatloaf and meatballs, are highly searched. Indicating that comfort is also high on the breakfast menu, pancakes, crepes and waffles are highly-searched recipes. Gluten-free is big, indicating that demand is far broader than the 1 percent of the population diagnosed with celiac disease. Hearty vegetables including cauliflower, kale, and asparagus are sought by consumers, which is encouraging given that these are either available year-round or nearly so.

Top recipes by ingredient

  • Chicken (chicken pot pie, fried chicken, enchiladas, alfredo, cordon bleu, marsala, buffalo chicken dip)
  • Ground beef (chili, meatloaf, meatballs, stuffed peppers, lasagna)
  • Potatoes (potato soup, tater tot casserole)
  • Salmon
  • Cookies (sugar, chocolate chip, brownies)
  • Dessert (cheesecake, bread pudding)
  • Quinoa
  • Pork chops

Source:, 2013

Shopping by recipe

Just less than half – 45 percent – of US home cooks shop for recipe ingredients within 48 hours of finding a recipe online. Supermarkets are the top grocery shopping destination for home cooks, and they average three or more trips per week, which is well more than the 1.7 times FMI indicates is the national average.

Three-quarters of US home cooks indicate they prepare meals at home daily, which is tied (with Mexico) for the lowest incidence among 13 global regions surveyed by AllRecipes. Italy is the highest at 93 percent. Nearly 80 percent of US home cooks say they prepare meals at home “to eat healthier,” followed by 76 percent who prepare homemade meals to save money. More than six in 10 cook at home because they “love to cook.”

Nearly half of US cooks define a home-cooked meal as “food prepared using convenience products (e.g., canned beans, prewashed and cut vegetables, frozen ingredients, baking mix), which is the highest incidence of all respondents globally. At the same time, 84 percent of US cooks indicate that a home-cooked meal is “food made entirely from basic ingredients (e.g., whole fruits and vegetables, dry pasta and grains), which is 5 percentage points lower than the total group. US cooks also over index in responding that a home-cooked meal is “prepared food to which I add additional ingredients or items to make a meal (27 percent US vs. 12 percent All), and “prepared food that I purchase to reheat or complete cooking at home (10 percent US vs. 5 percent All).

Retailers have an opportunity to respond by providing need-based solutions for consumers. Consider a “meal of the week” display. One week the recipe might be chili, and retailers could features ingredients to make chili from scratch, as well as ready-made chili with ideas for personalizing it. By offering up solutions for cooks at all levels, retailers will be viewed as solution providers.

Top 25 fastest growing search terms:

  • crock pot recipes
  • pancake recipe
  • chicken recipes
  • brownie recipe
  • sugar cookie recipe
  • crepe recipe
  • no bake cookies
  • corn beef and cabbage
  • peanut butter cookies
  • waffle recipe
  • cake recipes
  • chicken breast recipes
  • chili recipe
  • cookie recipes
  • chicken noodle soup
  • meatloaf
  • banana bread
  • crock pot chicken
  • salmon recipes
  • beef stroganoff
  • easy dinner recipes
  • slow cooker recipes
  • potato soup

Source:, 2013

What’s in the grocery cart?

With the caveat of consumers indicating that they’re “cooking” even when prepared meals are involved, fresh produce, dairy, and meat, fish and poultry are all being purchased on a weekly basis by a greater percentage of home cooks in 2013 compared with 2012. Other purchased items that indicate cooking are also on the increase, including baking ingredients (up 8 percentage points) and tinned/canned goods (up 4 percentage points).

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