Last Thursday, Compete released its ranking of the top 50 food and cooking Web sites for December 2009. In addition to the typical seasonal traffic spike, the cooking and grocery sites categories have both sustained significant year-over-year growth. Traffic to recipe sites grew in 2009 as a number of the online outlets added mobile applications and new ways to interact with their brands. In addition, grocery store chains attempted to capitalize on the number of online shoppers by adding home delivery services, featured products and online deals.
40 Million Cooks in the Kitchen
Compete’s cooking category, which includes 195 sites dedicated to cooking tips and recipes, saw steady growth throughout 2009. In December, 40.7 million aspiring chefs visited cooking sites in search of holiday recipes, representing a 13.2 percent increase in unique visitors (UVs) over December 2008. Allrecipes.com topped the list of most heavily trafficked cooking sites by attracting 16.12 million UVs in December, a 22.1 percent year-over-year increase. Cooks.com (11.38 million UVs) and Kraftfoods.com (5.71 million UVs) also saw traffic bolstered by holiday chefs, growing 14.37 percent and 10.26 percent month-over-month respectively.
Better than Fruitcake
December was also a high-traffic month in the food and grocery category, which includes food gifting sites, supermarkets and grocery delivery services. In December 2009, the category grew 21.65 percent month-over-month and attracted 8.52 percent more UVs than the same month in 2008. The most heavily trafficked food gifting sites in December included OmahaSteaks.com (4.5 million UVs), HaleGroves.com (2.83 million UVs) and PittmanDavis.com (1.1 million UVs).
Paper, Plastic or Delivery?
In 2009, grocery chains made strides to improve their Web experience, enticing shoppers to visit their online outlets with delivery options, coupons and deals, featured products and recipes. Publix Super Markets led the online grocery race in December with 1.39 million UVs; the site increased traffic 52.4 percent year-over-year. Although they experienced slight declines from November 2009, StopandShop.com (650,191 UVs) and Albertsons.com (633,202 UVs) also continued to garner significant online attention.
Drew is responsible for strategy and execution of marketing initiatives for Compete.com, including affiliate, blog, email, lead generation, paid search, and social media. Before Compete, Drew worked for office supply giant, Staples, Inc. where he had the opportunity to manage multiple online marketing channels for Staples.com, including affiliate, SEO/SEM, and comparison shopping engines. Follow Drew on Twitter or link him on LinkedIn.