Cookbook Category Sales Rose 21 Percent, Year over Year, The NPD Group Says

The success of cookbooks tracks with a larger growth trend of cooking meals at home

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., July 31, 2018 – Cookbook category sales are rising faster than warm dough so far this year. In fact, sales grew 21 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, according to the latest information from global information company The NPD Group. The top-selling title, “Magnolia Table,” by Joanna Gaines has been a smash hit, with 676,000 copies sold year-to-date, and while this title alone does account for much of the category’s growth, even without this title included, cookbook sales are still up 11 percent, year over year.

“The success of cookbooks tracks with a larger growth trend of consumers dining at home, rather than eating out,” said Allison Risbridger, books industry analyst, The NPD Group. “With more people cooking meals at home, there is renewed interest in cookbooks of all kinds, especially those that help cooks save time and eat well.”  

Last year over 80 percent of meals were prepared and eaten in home, according to NPD’s continual tracking of U.S. consumers’ eating attitudes and behaviors. Nearly half of all meal preparers say a top food-related challenge is coming up with new ideas for meals.

According to NPD Bookscan, cookbooks related to Instant Pot, Air Fryer and other small food-preparation appliances are also pushing this category forward, with an 84 percent increase in sales year-to-date.  The ketogenic diet is another phenomenon adding force to the upward trajectory of cookbooks, with low-carb cookbook sales increasing 228 percent in the first half of 2018. Sales of regional and ethnic cookbooks are also on the rise this year, with  sales rising 73 percent year over year. Italian, Indian and South Asian, Southwestern States, and Middle Eastern regions sales have grown, while Southern, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Japanese cookbooks posted declines. 


Information in this press release comes from NPD BookScan, which covers approximately 85 percent of trade print books sold in the U.S., through direct reporting from all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, independent bookstores, and many others. 

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