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Move over merch, pop culture cookbooks are the new way to connect with fandoms.

Oct 18 2021

Move over merch, pop culture cookbooks are the new way to connect with fandoms. While cookbooks inspired by pop culture are nothing new, they’ve evolved with the times (and technology), giving young fans a more intriguing taste of the lifestyles surrounding their favorite TV series/films. The Sopranos Family Cookbook (2002) and The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (2010s) are some that helped pioneer the genre by selling more than 142,000 and one million copies, respectively, and now pop culture cookbooks range anywhere from Bob’s Burgers, to Ratatouille, and even The Walking Dead. These next gen fandom cookbooks have become more immersive as well, considering everything from climate, to character motivations, and culture to deepen the narrative and put readers at the center of their favorite stories. Fantasy series like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones perform better with cooking audiences according to Dinah Bucholz (author of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook) because their food descriptions are well thought out and are clear plot points, giving fans a desire to try the food out themselves. YPulse’s Clicking on Community trend research shows that 35% of 13-34-year-olds are part of a fandom, and creating merch, experiences, and cookbooks can help brands tap into young consumers’ niche interests. (NYT)