Recipezaar Zeitgeist

We did it, we hit “100,000 recipes”:! It took over four years and countless (wo)man hours, both in our time and in the time of people typing up their recipes. In the early days we received less than 10 recipes per month, by spring of 2001 we were receiving several hundred a month, and by spring of 2002 we were receiving thousands per month and that hasn’t slowed down at all. We reject approximately 3% of all recipes per month and we’ve recently started removing duplicates (1% so far). At over 100,000 recipes, Recipezaar is hands down the largest collection of electronic recipes in the universe!!

In the early days, our software was pretty simple and required lots of manual editing and I was improving and debugging the software as I processed recipes. After about 18 months, the software was stable enough that Gay could start using it. And she had lots more suggestions for improving/streamlining the process. After she had processed 54,180 recipes, Kathy took it over (and very quickly) processing 10,249 recipes taking us over 100,000. The software is a far cry from the early versions of it, but it still has room for improvement. One day we hope to make it so easy to use that anyone on the site can submit their own recipe easily without any intervention from us.

6% of the recipes now have photos, and there are 7,044 total photos. In fact, we now post over 1,000 photos per month, or almost 1 photo for every 2 recipes posted. At over 2,000 recipes every month, that’s 5+ large cookbooks (a $150 value) every month and 15+ cooking magazines (a $50 value) every month! And they’re all free! And with 1.24 photos per recipe, we’re already far ahead of the cookbook and magazine industry that publish at most one photo per recipe (the vast majority of published recipes have no photo at all).

48% of all the recipes have reviews, averaging 2.72 reviews per recipe. 20,000 people have submitted reviews, averaging 2.3 reviews per reviewer.

What percentage of the recipes are liked by people? Almost every single recipe, 99,606, are in more than one person’s cookbook (“To Die For Crockpot Roast”: is in over 4,000 cookbooks). 76% are in more than ten persons’ cookbooks. And 13% are in more than 50 persons’ cookbooks. Clearly, people’s tastes are as diverse as the diversity of the recipes. That was one of our original theories and it has panned out.

The benefits of recipes in electronic form, published on the web with photos and reviews and comments submitted by real people, it’s only a matter of time until the archaic world of printed cookbooks and cooking magazines, the 2nd largest sector of the publishing industry, is gone. It’s already obsolete, it just takes time now. Think of all the trees that will be saved. 🙂

Top 10 most-common ingredients:
1. salt (39% of all recipes)
2. butter (29%)
3. sugar (25%)
4. eggs (24%)
5. onions (23%)
6. garlic (20%)
7. water (18%)
8. flour (14%)
9. milk (13%)
10. olive oil (11%)

Top 10 most-common measurements:
1. cups
2. teaspoons
3. tablespoons
4. ounces
5. pounds
6. cloves
7. grams
8. slices
9. pinches
10. milliliters

Least-common measurement: bushels.

2 thoughts on “Recipezaar Zeitgeist

  1. Troy and Gay,
    Congrats on your continued success with Zaar! I am very envious of the ones that have known about Zaar from its inception. I wish I had been an original member!
    Zaar Rocks and May God continue to bless you!

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