8 in 10 US Adults Watch Cooking Shows

August 2, 2010

Eight in 10 US adults watch cooking shows at least rarely, according to a new Harris Poll.

Half of Americans Watch Cooking Shows Occasionally or More
Just one on five U.S. adults (21%) say they never watch TV shows about cooking while three in 10 (29%) do so rarely, one-third (34%) do so occasionally and 15% watch cooking shows very often.


Certain groups are more likely to watch cooking shows. More than half (55%) of Baby Boomers (those aged 46-64) watch cooking shows very often or occasionally, compared to more than half (57%) of Echo Boomers (those aged 18-33) who say they rarely or never watch these shows.

Dividing potential viewers by gender, women are more likely than men are to watch cooking shows very often or occasionally (54% compared to 46%).

Cooking Shows Inspire Purchases
Besides trying to make the dishes shown on cooking channels, those who watch these shows can be influenced to potentially purchase some of the food they see being prepared, along with the gadgets the chefs use and even the cookbooks the star-chefs have written.


More than half (57%) of those who watch these shows say they have purchased food as a direct result of something they’ve seen on a cooking show. In addition, more than one-third (36%) say they have purchased small kitchen gadgets, 24% have purchased cookbooks and 6% have purchased large appliances as a direct result of something they’ve seen on a cooking show.

Much as they are more likely to watch these shows, Baby Boomers are also more likely to purchase both food (60%) and kitchen gadgets (41%) because of something they’ve seen on a cooking show. Gen Xers (those aged 34-45) are more likely to purchase cookbooks (29%) and large appliances (9%) after seeing them on cooking shows.

Women, Southerners, Reality Dominate Top 10 Shows
According to Americans who watch cooking shows, “30 Minute Meals” with Rachael Ray is their favorite cooking program. Tied at number two for favorite cooking show are two Southern cooks – Paula Deen with Paula’s Home Cooking and New Orleans resident (and Fall River, MA native) Emeril Lagasse, with “Emeril Live.”


At number four is the reality cooking competition, “Iron Chef,” and number five is “Good Eats.”
In at number six is Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and number seven is reality contest “Top Chef.” Three females round out the top 10: “Barefoot Contessa” hosted by Ina Garten, “Martha Stewart,” and “Everyday Italian” with Giada de Laurentiis.

Cooking at Home Popular
A large percentage of US adults enjoys cooking at home and does it frequently, according to other results of this Harris Poll. About eight in 10 (79%) of Americans 18 and older enjoy cooking, with 14% not enjoying it and 7% not cooking at all. Positive response is virtually the same among men (78%) and women (79%), although it is slightly higher in households with children (81%) than without children (78%).

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the US between May 10-17, 2010 among 2,503 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


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