Food Web sites have seen a burst of traffic as wary consumers opt to stay in and try their hand at home cooking, according to Medill Reports. Now it seems young people who were cooking at home out of necessity have discovered it is something they actually enjoy. And it doesn't hurt that social networking and other online platforms have made trading recipes and cooking tips more fun. Trolling the Internet is easy, free and taps into a more extensive database than any cookbook sitting on the shelf.
February visits to the top four food Web sites, which include foodnetwork.com and allrecipes.com, have risen 39 percent since 2007. In 2009, comScore Media Metrix logged 1.5 billion visits to food websites and 11 billion page views of food-centered subject matter. The most visited food site in 2009 was Allrecipes.com, a 13-year veteran in the online recipe world that has posted annual double-digit growth over the last six years. The company reports more gains in 2010, with February logging the highest traffic volume ever - a 13 percent increase from the same month a year ago.
When Allrecipes polled survey participants last year on why they were cooking at home more, people responded with economy-related reasons. This year, they are cooking at home because they enjoy it.
Chicago-based Kendall College managed to boost interest in its recreational cooking classes through a recent collaboration between the school and group discount site Groupon.com. It was "a hit," according to Julie Mossler, Groupon's public relations manager. Buyers bought 2,993 cooking classes in less than a day, saving almost half off on an $85 class.