According to NPD’s 2018 Holiday Purchase Intentions Report one in five consumers plans to purchase books for the holidays. Lifestyle books (think cookbooks and home) are front and center on in-store displays and top-of-mind for buyers. These categories have been driving much of the growth in non-fiction this year with cookbook sales up 23 percent, so far this year and house and home sales up 24 percent. I expect this holiday season to be the strongest we’ve ever seen for cookbooks, since NPD began tracking book sales in 2004.
Recent titles by beloved media personalities like Joanna Gaines’ Homebody, Ina Garten’s Cook Like a Pro, and Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup are perfectly giftable titles that will sit at the top of the charts this season. And while these types of books are always present around the holidays, November 2018 sales of the top five cooking and home books were more than double last year’s levels.
The fact that consumers are gravitating toward cooking and home books is not surprising, given recent success in the home products industry. People are spending more time in their own homes, and they are willing to invest in improving their living spaces. Books that promise readers an enhanced home life, either through decorating or cooking, will attract buyers in today’s environment.
One thing is clear: publishers and retailers that can appeal to homebodies and foodies will enjoy a larger piece of the pie this holiday season.