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From cookbooks to social shares: How social media has influenced the way we cook

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KATALIN NAGY
Wealth of Geeks

Published: February 8, 2024

According to a recent poll, 97% of Internet users tried recipes because they saw them on social media, with 77% claiming it has actually improved their cooking and baking skills.
Trying a new recipe once meant digging through a drawer for handwritten notes, searching for a cookbook, or spending funds and time on an expensive cooking class. But, technology has changed and evolved, so it comes as no surprise that the way we create in the kitchen has also changed and evolved — confirmed by a recent online poll of readers of Spatula Desserts.
Social Media and The Cooking and Baking Industry
Cooking lessons were once reserved for home economics classes, televised cooking programs, or watching family elders. Cooking was also historically heavily gender-based, seen as a daily household task for family-aged women. With the help of social media, however, cooking has become accessible to a broader demographic, demystifying the process and converting it into a fun activity for all genders and ages.
Food bloggers are the new educational content providers, divulging a wealth of food- and cooking-related information. As bloggers and social media influencers demonstrate the ease of creating restaurant-style dishes and desserts at home, many people are trying recipes they previously thought were impossible. Meanwhile, professional chefs are using social media as an affordable vehicle for teaching master classes to a broader audience — a venture that once incurred high travel expenses.
Social media platforms are convenient for publicizing and teaching new recipes. They expose social media users to cooking facts and alternatives, such as how to make butter at home when in a pinch. Having real-time conversations with recipe creators and followers in the comments also builds virtual communities and influences new cooking and baking trends.
Social Media: The No. 1 Hub for Inspiration
For the aspiring home chef, social media has not only created another way to learn, but is also one of the largest sources of recipe inspiration. In the 2023 report by Chicory, 75% of consumers have purchased a new ingredient or product because of an online recipe. According to a recent poll, 72% prefer online blogs to help them cook and try new recipes versus 28% traditional cookbooks. "It taught me everything," said one poll respondent. "No one in my family can bake, and it's social media where I find my tips and inspiration."
The image-sharing search engine Pinterest provides recipe ideas and aesthetic inspiration for special occasions and themed events. For example, a search for "cupcakes" brings up thousands of results, from colorful photos and videos to cupcake recipes for different occasions and seasons.
Popular video-sharing app TikTok has made replicating recipes as simple as ever. Those who never considered creating a dish are now inspired to experiment in the kitchen. One user stated, "On social media, I've learned a lot of tips and tricks. I've tried recipes I never thought I could do myself."
Meanwhile, photo-sharing apps such as Instagram have also sparked creativity in the kitchen as users look for photo-worthy shots of their food creations to share on their feeds.
Social Media: Expanding Horizons
One of the most significant benefits of how social media has influenced how people cook is the easy access to cuisines from various parts of the world. Where cooks would once have to seek out specifically-themed cookbooks to try homemade international cuisine, just a few clicks can give access to recipes from anywhere in the world.
With easy access to new and authentic international recipes, many are stepping out of their comfort zones, trying dishes they hadn't seen before, like Japanese Cheesecake, which has gone viral on social media. Likewise, those cooks who found their favorite dish while traveling abroad can now easily find and recreate those dishes at home.
Social Media: Making Better Cooks
Social media's rapid access to information gives new cooks a wealth of improved methods and tips to create flawless recipes. This can save a home cook hundreds of dollars on professional courses and training. With videos and visual aids that take users step-by-step through creating a recipe, they see where tweaks are needed and where things went wrong (or right).
Many online bloggers and social media stars have been known to provide fully-detailed, behind-the-science recipes so even first-time bakers can create professional-style results. In one recent poll, 77% of users claimed that social media was the reason behind their improved cooking and baking skills. One user stated, "Just by watching Instagram reels, I learn new skills and styles."
AI and The Food Industry
Social media has not just provided another way to connect with the world; it has taken a skill like cooking and made it more attainable and accessible for all skill levels and backgrounds. Those who once thought making a particular recipe was outside of their abilities are creating restaurant-style meals in their home kitchens.
As technology and social media evolve, the food industry is looking forward to seeing how recipes develop. As artificial intelligence continues to impact content development through analysis of food preferences, choices, and needs, the food industry will continue innovating into the future.
This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


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