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Why Do Most Americans Watch Cooking Shows?

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Specific demographics 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.

Encourage Purchases

Aside from trying to make the dishes they see on cooking channels, viewers may be tempted to buy the food they see being made, the tools the chefs use, or even the cookbooks written by the star chefs.

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

As much as they are more likely to watch these shows, Baby Boomers are also more likely to buy food (60%) and kitchen gadgets (41%) as an outcome of something they saw on a cooking show. Cookbooks (29%) and large appliances (9%) are more likely to be purchased by Gen Xers (34–45) after seeing them on cooking shows.

Half of them Watch Cooking Shows Occasionally or More









The reality cooking competition “Iron Chef” is ranked fourth, and “Good Eats” is ranked fifth. Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” is ranked sixth, and the reality competition “Top Chef” is ranked seventh. Three female hosts round out the top ten: Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa,” Martha Stewart’s “Martha Stewart,” and Giada de Laurentiis’ “Everyday Italian.”

Home Cooking

According to other Harris Poll results, a large percentage of US adults enjoy cooking at home on a regular basis. Cooking is enjoyed by roughly seven in ten (79%) of Americans aged 18 and up, with 14 percent disliking it and 7 percent not cooking at all. Nearly the same number of men (78%) and women (79%), but slightly more people (81%) in households with children than in households without children (78%) gave positive answers.

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