Brands Release Cookbooks to Help Consumers Stuck at Home

Among many things, 2020 definitely seems to be the year of the home cook. Indoor restaurant dining has experienced a rollercoaster of limited openings and closings, while staple products like yeast and flour were difficult to find for months as shoppers started baking for themselves. Given this huge shift in how consumers go about planning their meals, 2020 has also seen an interesting trend – brands releasing their own cookbooks.


MTN DEW® Releases a “Big Bold Book” of Recipes

Who knew that there were so many recipes to make with soda? From dips to desserts, this book shows consumers how to incorporate all of their favorite MTN DEW® flavors into any meal of the day. While this might seem like a strange move for the brand (most people probably don’t think of soda itself as a cooking ingredient), keep in mind that beverage manufacturers are severely impacted by low restaurant traffic. This cookbook might be a fun novelty, but if the outlook for the restaurant and hospitality industry continues to look so bleak, beverage brands might have to invest in a bigger advertising push that encourages consumers to find other ways of using their products at home. Shoppers are clearly hungry for new ideas that they can try out in their own kitchens, and they just might turn to the beverage aisle for inspiration.


Cheetos® Raises Money for Charity with Bon-Appe-Cheetos®

As a way of giving back to the community during such a difficult time, Frito-Lay launched “Bon-Appe-Cheetos®: A Holiday Cookbook by Chester & Friends.” Consumers could get a copy by making a $35 donation to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, which is offering food relief and work opportunities to communities affected by COVID-19. The cookbook has already been a huge success – apparently, the company ran out of copies less than a week after the campaign kicked off.

This cookbook is actually a great fit for Cheetos® as a brand. Not only does it have a positive impact by giving money to a great cause, it’s also in line with other recent marketing projects that the company has taken on. They’ve already done pop-up restaurants with celebrity chefs Anne Burrell and Roy Choi, so a cookbook feels like a very natural progression.


Trojan Brand Condoms® Encourages Consumers to Get Busy in the Kitchen

Earlier this year, Trojan Brand Condoms® released a free 69-page cookbook full of bread recipes and dirty puns. In addition to the launch of the book (called “Rising Time”), Trojan® donated 50,000 meals to the charity Feeding America.

This is definitely one of the least expected cookbook releases this year, but it’s a great case study in brands thinking outside of the box to meet their consumers’ evolving needs – even if it’s not initially clear how the brand can serve them in that area. The company chose to focus on bread since that was the hot trend of the spring, and the book helps them push their own boundaries to become more of an overall lifestyle brand, one that can play a role in all of the different ways that consumers have fun at home.

Cookbooks are an engaging marketing tool that consumers can return to again and again when they need creative cooking inspiration. As many cities impose stricter restrictions on restaurants this winter, home cooking is likely to grow even further and create a greater need for brands to generate exciting new recipes.  

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