Printed Cookbook Growth Driven by Trend Toward Eating In, Celebrity Chefs

LOS ANGELES—Oct. 31, 2011—Although cookbook publishers will compete with more online recipes over the next five years, emphasis on healthcare and heritage will continue to drive demand for printed cookbooks, according to IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research. More gift-giving related to higher discretionary spending will also elevate the average amount spent on each cookbook, further boosting industry revenue.

IBISWorld forecasts industry revenue to grow at an annualized 2.7 percent to $1.5 billion in the five years to 2016. Initial growth is forecast to be quicker, with a 4.1 percent revenue increase projected in 2012 as consumers continue to conserve money and eat in.

The cookbook publishing industry weathered the recession well as consumers splurged on cookbooks to eat and entertain at home instead of going out. Although external competition from online recipe sources is escalating, consumer demand for printed cookbooks continues to rise.

Demand is also increasing due to demographic shifts as senior, immigrant and allergy-prone populations grow. Consequently, IBISWorld expects industry revenue to increase 2.2 percent per year on average to $1.3 billion in the five years to 2011. Helped by a gradual increase in consumer spending, the industry is anticipated to grow 4.2 percent in 2011 alone.

Although consumers can substitute online recipes for those in cookbooks, the Internet is also a powerful complement to cookbooks, where publishers can provide tutorials and interactive features for recipes. Publishers are also building online communities around authors to strengthen relationships with at-home cooks and to create new revenue streams.

Additionally, online bookstores have enhanced the visibility of cookbooks, particularly backlist titles. Fast search engines support online bookstores, enabling customers to locate cookbooks by title, author or keyword in only a few seconds. Online retailers now claim about one-quarter of the consumer trade-book market, which includes cookbooks. Spending on higher-quality books, technological development and marketing is projected to depress the industry’s 9.5 percent profit margin through 2016.

According to IBISWorld analyst, Nima Samadi, over the next five years the Cookbook Publishing industrywill face new challenges from mobile technologies. “Favorable demographic shifts and increasing discretionary spending will continue to drive demand for cookbooks,” says Samadi. “The aging population, steadily growing immigration rate and higher incidence of food allergies will continue to make up a large audience for cookbook publishers.”

About IBISWorld
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide.

Source: IBISWorld.