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Holidays Cook Up Traffic to Recipe Sites

  |  November 18, 2005   |  Comments

Sites offering holiday recipes attract more traffic during the holidays, though most visitors find their way through search engines, not brand loyalty.

Food and beverage sites offering recipes see elevated traffic levels during the holiday season. Most visitors land on the sites from search engines, however, according to data from Hitwise.

Search engines accounted for 48 percent of recipe site traffic for the week ending November 12, 2005. That outpaces traffic from search engines to shopping and classified sites in the food and beverage category. Upstream visits from search engines trafficked 30 percent of visits to grocery and alcohol sites.

The use of search engines and general search terms shows a lack of allegiance to any particular recipe source. Though some sites, such as Kraftfoods.com and Betty Crocker, are branded, others, such as the Food Network, Allrecipes.com, and Cooks.com, run ads on their sites.

Most searchers went to the Food Network (22.24 percent) site to get recipes for Thanksgiving. Other recipe hounds followed links to Kraftfoods.com (9.42 percent), Allrecipes.com (9.12 percent), and Cooks.com (3.48 percent).

"We've seen consistency year-over-year in search patterns," LeeAnn Prescott, senior research analyst at Hitwise, told ClickZ Stats. "Last year we saw a huge spike the week before Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Recipe seekers are typically women. They made up sixty-one percent of traffic sent to food and beverage sites in the second week of November. Forty-one percent of food and beverage site visitors are likely to be over 55.

Recipe sites see seasonal spikes leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and, later in January, the Super Bowl.

Hitwise monitors 10 million U.S. ISP users. Additionally, it has an opt-in panel of 2.5 million users who provide demographic information.

Top Food and Beverage Reference Web Sites, Week Ending November 12, 2005
Rank Name Domain Market Share (%)
1 Food Network www.foodnetwork.com 22.24
2 Kraftfoods.com www.kraftfoods.com 9.42
3 Allrecipes.com www.allrecipes.com 9.12
4 Cooks.com www.cooks.com 3.48
5 Recipezaar www.recipezaar.com 3.18
6 About Southern U.S. Cuisine southernfood.about.com 3.16
7 Betty Crocker www.bettycrocker.com 2.74
8 Epicurious www.epicurious.com 2.58
9 RecipeSource www.recipesource.com 1.69
10 Recipelink.com www.recipelink.com 1.55
Source: Hitwise, 2005

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Enid Burns

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