CPG Marketing Trends: Online Holiday Recipe Strategy for Food Brands

Google shares key insights into what holidays drive the most recipe searches.

With the 2010 holiday season in the rearview mirror, digital marketers can now shift their attention toward preparing for the next round of holidays in the New Year. And when it comes to online recipe searches during the holidays, Google has released some internal data that both confirms long-held notions and identifies new trends.

The first nugget of statistics shows that food and recipe search volume has consistently increased year over year, which should come as no surprise to those who have witnessed the rise in popularity of recipe websites over the years.

Further examination of the numbers shows an expected spike in recipe searches during the traditional holiday season (October through December). However, marketers should take note of both the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo, two eating occasions that have spurred considerable increases in online recipe searches over the last four years. The chart below depicts search spikes for seven holidays as well as the overall growth of search volume since 2006.

Other useful information gleaned from Google data includes:

  • People are three times more likely to search for “easy recipes” during the winter holidays
  • Consumers are half as likely to search for “healthy recipes” during the same time frame, lending credence to the idea that indulgence reigns supreme during the holidays
  • The recipe spotlight falls on baking during Christmas, with the cookie and cake categories ranking first and second, respectively

Many brands just cannot afford a 365 online recipe strategy using paid media or recipe integration on top recipe web sites. Think about using a seasonal recipe strategy to help drive incremental sales during key holiday seasons.


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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