NEW YORK (Oct. 26, 2010) – Within the ranks of home cooks, About.com has identified a unique segment of active online users. This group, which About.com has labeled “Real Cooks” is constantly seeking new recipes, products and cooking techniques, according to About.com’s 2010 Food and Cooking Study. The study also revealed that Real Cooks find online food and product advertisements that include printable coupons and nutritional value the most appealing.
The study – conducted online in July – examined the online behaviors, attitudes and a priorities of Home Cooks overall, exploring how this group uses online resources for researching and preparing meals. Additionally, the study discovered what kinds of online grocery ads are most engaging for consumers.
“Our study indicates that Real Cooks are increasingly looking online, and to online advertisements in particular, to learn about new recipes and new products,” said Evan Minskoff, vice president, marketing, the About Group. “Since Real Cooks shop for groceries regularly and frequently replenish cooking supplies, advertisers are presented with the opportunity to reach these consumers at key moments of need. For example, adding utility to advertisements through printable coupons and nutritional information can help advertisers increase their chance of engaging these intent-driven cooks.”
For online food advertisements, the study revealed that the most appealing grocery ads are:
· Ads with printable coupons (66 percent)
· Ads with product information, ingredients, nutritional value (62 percent)
· Ads that offer sample products (45 percent)
· Ads with printable recipes, shopping lists (35 percent)
· Ads with recipe videos (7 percent)
Ads on About.com also inspire consumers to take action, the study found. As a result of seeing packaged goods ads on About.com:
· 40 percent of respondents clicked on the ad
· 37 percent of respondents printed the coupon
· 35 percent of respondents tried a new product for the first time
· 35 percent of respondents purchased a new product for the first time
· 33 percent of respondents did more research about the product
· 28 percent of respondents searched for retail locations that carry the product
Real Cooks prepare food from scratch frequently, with nearly 40 percent of respondents cooking every day. On average, they prepare a variety of foods, ranging from quick and easy meals to comfort foods to healthy and nutritious foods from scratch five times a week. Benefits found during this creative process include a boost in self-esteem, opportunities for self-expression, a sense of community and connectedness to family and cultural traditions.
The top influencer for grocery purchases is “healthy ingredients,” ranking higher than both taste and price. Additionally, while budget is a consideration, consumers still find ways to buy name brands. Preferences for name brands are up 32 percent from one year ago.
Study results also revealed that Real Cooks actively use online resources to expand their repertoires and stretch their families’ palates. More than half search for recipes once a week or more frequently. Seventy-one percent of study respondents use a search engine to look for recipes, while 56 percent go directly to specific sites.
Other findings include:
· 63 percent of Real Cooks include foods and recipes they consider to be nutritious, low-carb, or low-calorie in their repertoires. In fact, that’s a leading driver for cooking at home.
· 50 percent of Real Cooks feel strongly that “nutrition is important, and preparing food is the best way to control that.”
· Real Cooks’ needs are not satisfied by a single shopping experience. On average, each shops at four different types of stores, including supercenters, membership warehouses and health/natural foods stores.
For a copy of the full About.com 2010 Food and Cooking Study, please contact Erica McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-204-1724.
About The About Group
The About Group comprises the Web sites About.com, ConsumerSearch.com, UCompareHealthCare.com and CalorieCount.com . About.com is a valuable resource for content that helps users solve the large and small needs of everyday life. ConsumerSearch.com analyzes expert and user-generated consumer product reviews and recommends the best products to purchase based on the findings.
UCompareHealthCare.com provides dynamic interactive tools that enable users to measure the quality of healthcare services. CalorieCount.com offers weight management tools, social support and nutritional information to help users achieve their diet goals.
The About Group is part of The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2009 revenues of $2.4 billion, which includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.