Friday, November 2, 2012

Allrecipes Measuring Cup Trend Report - Holiday 2012

BEGINNING IN NOVEMBER, we monitor our seasonal traffic as it climbs every day. Home cooks seek holiday cooking inspiration, and searches soar the day before Thanksgiving—almost off the charts! Tradition, costs, social media, and the desire to create “homemade” meals to celebrate the season all affect consumers’ shopping, cooking and eating behaviors. As the #1 online food destination with more than one billion annual visits, is perfectly positioned to check the pulse of American home cooks—their attitudes, behaviors and interests, which all influence what’s in their shopping carts and on their forks, year-round and for the holidays. With an enthusiastic community spanning the country, ages and experience levels, we’re pleased to present these insights about holiday cooking and eating. Data is derived from Allrecipes' 2012 Holiday Attitudes and Behavior Survey.*

Insight #1: Best Deal on Big Birds?
Poultry prices are showing the effect of summer’s widespread drought, with turkey prices rising 7% from a year ago. So how are smart shoppers planning to manage holiday food costs? Half plan to shop around town—a one-third increase over 2011—stopping at several stores to get the best deals and use coupons, and half will prepare dishes from scratch.

Insight #2: Big (Holiday) Spenders
Survey results suggest 2012 holiday food spending will remain relatively consistent with 2011 levels. Those likely to spend the most on holiday activities are cooks aged 44 to 54; with 61% planning to spend more than $500. Millennial cooks and Baby Boomers plan to be more conservative with their spending.

Insight #3: Sweet on Sweet Potatoes!
Searches for sweet potato recipes have surged 52% over the past four years. This growing popularity is likely a result of more households seeking to add more vegetables in their diet—and the introduction of sweet potato fries to quick-serve restaurant menus. This year 75% of home cooks will include sweet potatoes as part of their Thanksgiving feast. 

The most popular Thanksgiving sweet potato recipes include:
1. Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole
2. Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic
3. Candied Sweet Potatoes
4. Sweet Potato Pie I

Insight #4: Social Inspiration
This year, nearly 85% of home cooks will look to social/community sites for holiday inspiration. The social landscape is changing the way Thanksgiving is celebrated, from planning and preparation, to cooking and enjoying the final meal with loved ones. Instead of the traditional printed recipe card swap, it’s now a virtual environment where cooks connect with each other online to share ideas and inspiration. and Pinterest are the top social sources cooks trust to help them with their holiday needs.

Insight #5: Eat This Picture
When it comes to celebrating the foods we crave and eat, a photo is worth a thousand words (or calories). From selecting recipes to showcasing cooking successes, sites such as Allrecipes, Instagram and Pinterest have become popular resources which home cooks rely on for everyday and holiday inspiration. In some instances, this heavy focus on the visual appearance of a dish might disproportionately impact how we choose recipes—42% of online cookie bakers say that a cookie recipe must make a ‘very cool looking/pretty cookie’ in order to make it on their list. In the past year, 30% of the most-pinned desserts from have been cookie recipes with The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies as the favorite.

Insight #6: Moms Being Replaced by Monitors

Video consumption continues to rise, and ‘how-to’ food videos are part of the surge. In fact, 1 in 5 home cooks say ‘having a video demonstration available’ is ‘important/extremely important' when selecting dishes for holiday meals. These cooks look to their favorite recipe websites, including, for pointers on perfecting Thanksgiving dinner favorites. Data shows that the most viewed Thanksgiving videos on in the week leading up to the holiday in 2011 were:

Insight #7: Holiday Help in Your Hand
Cooks of all ages now rely on their mobile devices to help them with all parts of meal planning and preparation. Of those owning mobile devices, 70% are searching for recipes while on the go, 29% are accessing savings offers, 36% make shopping lists, and 20% are viewing cooking videos. Of the more than 200 million visits projected for Allrecipes this holiday season, 40% are expected to come from mobile devices—nearly double what was seen last year.

Insight #8: Jello ‘Salad’ Revival

Since the turn of the 20th century, jello salad has been a staple on many American Thanksgiving tables. This year, the wiggly salad is seeing a resurgence. According to our holiday survey, 1 out of 5 Thanksgiving cooks plan to include a jello salad with their meal. We suspect the growing popularity in jello is being fueled by an increasing interest in 60s culture (think Mad Men), plus all the gorgeous photos of jello creations being shared by cooks on Pinterest. Cooks located in the West and Midwest are significantly more likely to serve jello salads at their Thanksgiving feasts than cooks in the South and Northeast.

Insight #9: No Guessing Sizes
Homemade gifts from the kitchen are holiday favorites for home cooks—because one size fits all and the price is right. This year, 46% of home cooks plan to prepare and share homemade food gifts. Topping the ‘most popular’ list is Fudge, along with Holiday Peppermint Bark or Pretzel Turtles, and Red and Green Christmas JalapeƱo Jelly. Even Buster might find homemade dog biscuits under the tree.

Insight #10: Pumpkin: The ‘Jack’ of All Trades
With searches for pumpkin recipes on the rise year-over-year, up 23% for the food and lifestyle category, it’s hard to go wrong with a pumpkin dish for Thanksgiving dinner. From drinks, to desserts, to healthy options, pumpkin continues to be the go-to versatile ingredient during the holiday season.

 Be inspired with these Top 5 fastest growing pumpkin-related searches:

Bonus: Traditional Trumps Trendy
Classic Thanksgiving dishes are something everyone looks forward to each year. In fact, 68% of online home cooks will rely on traditional favorites to fill holiday dinner plates. More seasoned cooks, those aged 55 and older, are the most likely to rely on traditional favorites (74% consider this important when selecting holiday dishes). At the other end of the spectrum, younger cooks (aged 25 to 34) are more likely to choose recipes based on positive ratings and reviews (64%).

Data provided is from an online survey of 1,434 U.S.-based participants fielded on the site from 9/27/12 – 10/1/12. No incentives were used to reward or incent participation.

Please Contact:
Stephanie Robinett
Director, Communications

Allrecipes, the world’s largest digital food brand, receives more than one billion annual visits from family-focused women who connect and inspire one another through photos, reviews, videos and blog posts. Since its launch in 1997, the Seattle-based social site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. Allrecipes is a global, multiplatform brand providing insights into the lives of women everywhere based on activity from 18 websites, 18 mobile sites, 11 mobile apps, and 14 eBooks serving 23 countries in 12 languages. Allrecipes is part of Meredith Corporation, the leading media and marketing company serving American women. For additional information regarding Meredith, please visit For additional information regarding Allrecipes, please visit