Monthly Measuring Cup - Anniversary Edition - News Blog at - 280880 News

Monthly Measuring Cup - Anniversary Edition 
Aug. 1, 2012 3:30 pm 
Updated: Aug. 14, 2012 8:49 am

Fifteen years ago, a group of five cookie-loving anthropology graduate students launched—one of the web’s first social media sites, with all of its contents created by its community. A few years and a few dozen websites (,,, etc.) later, the sites were rolled up into one— As use of the Internet grew among busy, family-focused women, Allrecipes grew as well. Today, the site that started with a single cookie recipe has grown to become the world’s largest digital food brand, with 17 sites and 9 apps serving 25 million cooks in 22 countries.

Much has changed in the world since Allrecipes first launched in 1997. In honor of its 15th anniversary, Allrecipes reran its first on-site survey from 1999 to capture a snapshot of these changes. Measuring attitudes and behaviors related to online recipe websites, Allrecipes discovered the impact digital food resources have had on the shopping and cooking behaviors of home cooks over the past 15 years.

Insight 1: Smartphones are the Main Ingredient
Mobile phones as a kitchen companion are one of the most significant changes of the past 15 years. In 1997, the typical cell phone weighed 10 ounces and was used primarily for making phone calls. Today, half of women with mobile phones are carrying smartphones, pocket-sized computers ready to assist with an astounding range of tasks. In 2012, more than one-third of online cooks use smartphones to look up recipes, while others use them to create digital shopping lists (18%), redeem digital coupons (16%), and watch videos to improve
their cooking skills (15%).

Insight 2: Video is Vital
 It’s no surprise food videos represent a growing trend. In the past 15 years, food video has moved from basic cooking shows, to mega celebrity chefs, to sensational reality series. What might not be evident is that cooks are rapidly switching their viewing behaviors from the big screen (TVs) to small screens (laptops and mobile devices). Today, three-quarters of women watch cooking videos online. Furthermore, the percentage of women who consider how-to videos a must-have for recipe websites has nearly doubled in the past 13 years (from 45% in 1999 to 74% in 2012), and this trend is expected to grow. Nearly half of cooks (43%) believe that in 15 years, more people will learn how to cook
from videos than from their parents.

Insight 3: Food and Tech Appetites Go Global
The ease and appeal of finding recipes online is not just a U.S. phenomenon. Digital food and recipe resources can now be found around the globe. While tastes and food customs vary by country, cooks are more alike than they are different when it comes to finding recipes online. The top digital resource for recipes globally is search engines (43% of online cooks) followed very closely by recipe sites (42%). And the #1 search term worldwide? Chicken, of course.

Insight 4: Interactive Advertising Soars
According to eMarketer, in 2000, CPG brands spent $134 million in online ad spending. Twelve years later, their investment in online advertising has grown exponentially, projected to reach 3.16 billion in 2012. Digital media has the unique ability to speak to a wide audience on platforms available at all points of need – desktop, tablet and mobile – through a diverse portfolio of interactive executions. As more consumers move online, and dollars follow, ad products will continue to evolve from static displays (the standard ad unit in 1997) to solutions and entertainment for the consumer – offering coupons, video, relevant content and more, targeted to the right person in the right place at the right time.

Insight 5: Sharing Food Has a New Meaning 
Fifteen years ago, the social channels we know and trust today didn’t exist. In 2012, the social web is a mainstay with sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Allrecipes all ranking among the top 50 most-visited websites. Their impact on shared food experiences is significant: one-third of female cooks consider it important for food websites to provide opportunities to share recipes on social sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest). Top motivations for sharing recipes include: attractive photos (79%), the cook plans to make
the recipe (78%), and the recipe has positive peer ratings/reviews (75%).

Insight 6: Fast Features at Your Fingertips
When asked to choose only one cooking resource to use for the rest of their lives, half of home cooks selected cooking websites (44%), followed by cookbooks (19%), and parents (9%). Use of cooking websites has surged 207% in 15 years.

In Allrecipes’ “Then and Now” survey, many of the features cooks expect to find on food websites showed strong growth. The fastest movers included “dish recommendations,” up 1,210% in 2012 compared to 1999, community ratings up 558%, while digital shopping list, menu planner and the ability to scale serving amounts all increased more than 300%.

Insight 7: Show Me the Recipe
The widespread availability of free cooking resources on computers and mobile devices has increased cooks’ appetites for using recipes. According to a 2012 survey, 16% of home cooks are now using recipes all the time when cooking, up from just 9% (80% growth) 13 years ago. Surprisingly, even though it’s easier to find recipes today, recipes haven’t simplified cooking as much as one would expect. Only 35% of cooks responded positively when asked whether recipes make cooking easier, compared with 73% of cooks who responded positively to this same question in 1999.

Insight 8: Organic Goes Mainstream
Today, the majority of home cooks (58%) report picking recipes where they can use organic and natural ingredients, an increase of 66% since 1999. This represents a rise in the collective consciousness of home cooks who are looking closely at food labels (59%), and shopping for locally-sourced ingredients (62%). Interestingly, only 44% report being very health conscious and always eating healthfully. Perhaps home cooks are using organic shredded cheese and veggies from their local farmers’ market to make a cheesy lasagna, followed by prepackaged but all-natural cookies?

Insight 9: Changing Challenges for Dinnertime
 Families with kids say finding time is one of the hardest parts of getting dinner on the table: 22% for households with kids, vs. 16% for those without. To mitigate this, home cooks with children at home are much more tech-savvy than their childless counterparts, leveraging digital devices and tools to get things done quicker and easier. Home cooks with children are 76% more likely to have created a shopping list on their mobile device, 56% more likely to look at a digital shopping list in store and 73% more likely to have redeemed a digital coupon on a mobile device than families without children.

Insight 10:  
Where Fridge and 
Wallet Intersect 
In 1999, the U.S. economy was happily in the black, the average median household income was up 10%, and only 3% of home cooks reported cost as the hardest part of getting dinner on the table. Today, cost has increased 243% as the hardest part of getting dinner on the table. The solutions? Sixty-seven percent say they cook at home because it’s cheaper than eating out (up 9%) and 68% believe it’s important that recipe websites offer coupons (up 133%).

Insight 11: Internet 
Dining Delivers
Recipe sites are now the most frequently used recipe resource for home cooks (86%), surging 207% from 1999, eclipsing cookbooks (66%), magazines (53%), and even friends (43%). Over the past 15 years, the use of recipe websites has evolved from an occasional diversion, catering primarily to hardcore foodies, to a must-have everyday resource for the majority of American home cooks. Cooks today visit websites and food blogs (now estimated to number more than 164 million worldwide) covering all types of cooking styles, dietary needs, regional cuisines and food passions.

Insight 12: Generational Joys of Cooking
Whether or not you like to cook may have more to do with your age than culinary preferences. As cooks move through life stages, motivations for cooking change. To illustrate, today’s Millennials see cooking as optional, fun, and exploratory; for mid-life, family-focused Gen Xers, it’s a must; while for today’s Baby Boomers in more diet-restricted stages of life, cooking is less frequent with less freedom.

 Insight 13: More Tools Mean More Time
Digital tools continue to make meal planning easier. When asked in 1999 what was the most difficult thing about getting dinner on the table, 29% said “finding time to plan and cook.” Today this number has dropped 39% as home cooks use websites and mobile phones to find recipes and menus quickly and easily, make organized shopping lists on the fly, and download coupons with the click of a button. Home cooks also report a 212% increase since 1999 in the importance of recipe websites offering menus and meal planning solutions.

Insight 14: Super Fast, Super Local and Superstores
Supermarkets look nothing like they did 15 years ago. Large chains are devoting more and more space to hot, ready-to-eat food, local farmers’ markets are a part of every city’s weekend landscape, and superstores that sell everything from electronics to produce are sprouting up around every corner. Yet with all these options, when comparing 2012 with 1999, 24% more consumers say shopping for ingredients is the hardest part about getting dinner on the table.

Insight 15: There’s an App for That
One word describes the future of meal planning:digital. The grocery shopping experience is being revolutionized as consumers turn to devices to help them plan meals, create lists and shop. In the last decade, retailers have introduced savings and loyalty cards, eliminating the need to clip coupons from the weekly flyer. When polled, 90% of consumers believe 15 years from now printed coupons will be extinct. Eighty-two percent of respondents also believe they will be paying with their mobile device, and 64% of consumers believe groceries will be delivered direct to their doorstep which, ironically, means the future might hold a return of the milkman.

Top 15 Recipes of All Time
1. World’s Best Lasagna (14M page views)
2. Banana Banana Bread (13.5M page views)
3. Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes (13M page views)
4. Easy Sugar Cookies (11M page views)
5. Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast (10M page views)
6. The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies (9.5M page views)
7. Basic Crêpes (8.5M page views)
8. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (8M page views)
9. Chicken Pot Pie IX (7.5M page views)
10. Buffalo Chicken Dip (7M page views)
11. Easy Meatloaf (7M page views)
12. Carrot Cake III (6.5M page views)
13. Cream Cheese Frosting II (6M page views)
14. Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
(6M page views)
15. Alfredo Sauce (5.5M page views)

Data provided is from an online survey of 1,020 U.S-based panel participants and 1,208 Allrecipes community members in July 2012. No incentives were used to reward or incent participation. The survey questions were based on questions from Allrecipes’ 1999 Motivations survey, to provide food and technology trend data for the past 13 years. For more information on survey methodology such as response counts for each question or details on question order or format, please feel free to contact us.

Allrecipes, the world’s largest digital food brand, receives 750 million annual visits from home cooks around the world who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog posts. For 15 years, the Seattle-based 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’ global, multi-platform brand provides insights into the kitchens and cooking passions of home cooks everywhere with 17 websites, 9 mobile apps, and 14 eBooks serving cooks in 23 countries and 11 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 about Allrecipes, please visit
Aug. 1, 2012 9:01 pm
wow! how imformative...the vast changes over the years...WTGo AR ;-) I'm proud to be with you Happy Anniversary.
Aug. 1, 2012 9:07 pm
Very interesting to see all the changes in 15 years. Can't wait to see what the next 15 bring! :)
Aug. 2, 2012 5:05 am
I remember my first visit to in 1997 and I have been here ever since. Thank You & Happy Anniversary !
Aug. 2, 2012 5:29 am
I love all these stats and seeing the changes over the years. Happy Anniversary AllRecipes!
Aug. 2, 2012 6:05 am
That was interesting seeing the changes! Happy Anniversary!
Aug. 2, 2012 10:01 am
Happy Anniversary ALLRECIPES ~ great blog and I hate to say I have not made any of the top recipes ~ I guess I had better get cooking!
Aug. 2, 2012 11:05 am
Thanks for sharing the trends and stats, who knew statistics could be so interesting? I've made four of the top recipes...I am now inspired to try them all! Happy Anniversary AR!
Aug. 3, 2012 11:04 am
I remember those first websites too! Thanks for all the info!
Aug. 14, 2012 8:49 am
Great info - how we've all changed!!
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About Me is the world’s largest food site created entirely from contributions from talented home cooks. Allrecipes was first introduced in 1997 by five college students who loved cookies and had the early vision the web would be a fantastic place for people to find and share everyday food ideas. Twelve years later, is home to an amazing community where millions of recipes, reviews, ratings, photos, and blog postings spanning all types of ingredients, dish types, occasions and cooking styles are viewed and shared daily. Allrecipes grows every day as the community continues to share new ideas and experiences. Along with the original site, Allrecipes now has communities for home cooks in Australia/NZ, China, France, Germany, and the UK/Ireland. (Check them out! You’ll find links at the very bottom of this page.) For cooks on the go, Allrecipes is available free on the iPhone via the Dinner Spinner app, and web enabled phones at
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