The growing number of cooking channels on TV and shows devoted to chefs and food preparation and competition have opened a new opportunity for marketers looking to promote their products. But who is watching these shows and are these consumers motivated to buy the cookware and cookbooks they see on TV? Harris Interactive recently surveyed consumers on this topic.

It turns out that over 15% of consumers tune into cooking shows very often while another 34% sit down occasionally to watch a meal being prepared. Women are more likely than men to watch these shows. Here’s how the numbers break out by age group for those who  Very Often/Occasionally settle in front of the TV for a cooking lesson:

  • Ages 18-33: 43%
  • Ages 34-45: 51%
  • Ages 46-64: 55%
  • Ages 65+: 49%

And consumers say they make purchases because of what they’ve seen promoted on TV. The numbers range from 57% for food to 6% for large appliances.  Here are the highest percentages listed by age group for each product type:

  • Food: – Ages 46-64: 60%
  • Small kitchen gadgets: – Ages 46-64: 41%
  • Cookbooks: – Ages 34-45: 29%
  • Large appliances: – Ages 18-33 (tied with Ages 34-45): 9%

It’s interesting to note that consumers who may still be in the process of forming households have a higher rate of buying large appliances and cookbooks. And over 1/3rd of all consumers have purchased small kitchen gadgets shown on cooking shows. The broad interest in this category indicates that food and kitchenware vendors will continue to advertise on these programs to reach potential customers.

[Source: Half of Americans Watch Cooking Shows Very Often of Occasionally. HarrisInteractive.com. 29 Jul. 2010. Web. 24 Aug. 2010]