Food Network influences consumer food preparation and purchasing choices

Popular television programming inspires viewers to seek out new foods.

The Food Network, a cable television channel which boasts a popular array of cooking related shows, is having impact on consumer food preparation and purchasing choices. Founded back in 1993, the Food Network offers engaging programming that educates viewers about food preparation, meal planning, purchasing and nutrition.

According to research by Mintel, a large consumer research firm, 19% of U.S. households tune into the Food Network at least once a week and watch three and half hours of programming. The chefs on the network are a major source of information for consumers that can influence purchasing decisions.

Business owners have cited consumer requests for particular foods that they have seen featured on the Food Network. Some of the Food Network stars even have their own line of food products or cooking utensils.

A. Phillip Handel, Drexel University Food Science professor emeritus, also notes the influence the Food Network is having on food entrepreneurs. In an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal, Handel states “Entrepreneurs are using food as a way to start a business and the shows give an idea of how it is done.”

Food Network viewers may also now get a taste of how beef is produced on a working cattle ranch. Ree Drummond, one of the newest Food Network stars, chronicles the experiences of her family on the ranch in Oklahoma along with cooking up home-style specialties in her show, The Pioneer Woman.

Entrepreneurs who are interested in launching food products or businesses may contact the MSU Product Center for assistance. Innovation counselors are located across the state and can assist with business planning, navigating the regulatory maze and specialized services such as product testing, packaging and nutritional labeling. Visit MSU Product Center for more information.

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