Recipe searches and retail site visits up for holidays: Hitwise

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Online researcher Hitwise reported Nov. 21  the most popular search terms and traffic trends at the start of the holiday shopping season. 

Visits to the food and beverage Web sites, including recipe Web sites, increased 17.5 percent for the week ending Nov. 18, 2006, when compared to the previous week. The market share of visits to the category increased 4 percent compared to the same week last year.

Last year, visits to the food and beverage - lifestyle and reference category increased 65.9 percent in the two weeks preceding Thanksgiving.

According to Hitwise the most popular recipe-related search terms during the week ending Nov. 18 were for 'pumpkin pie recipe,' 'pecan pie recipe,' 'pumpkin cheesecake recipe,' 'pumpkin roll recipe' and 'sweet potato pie recipe.'

AllRecipes.com was the top Web site receiving traffic from the term 'recipe' for the week ending Nov. 18, with 36.9 percent of visits from the term. Food Network was second, accounting for 13.1 percent of visits, followed by Kraft Foods with 8.2 percent of visits.

Holiday retail visits climbed 7 percent when compared to the same week last year. Hitwise also released the top successful brand- and product-related search terms driving traffic to the shopping and classifieds category of Web sites.

The top product-related search term for the week ending Nov. 18 was 'playstation 3.' The share of searches for 'playstation 3' increased by 112 percent over the previous week. Overall, search terms related to the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii made up four out of top 10 product-related searches, suggesting the two gaming consoles may be this year's top holiday gifts. Other popular search terms included iPod and Barbie. Retailers seeing the most traffic in the week period were Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Overstock.com.

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