The Celebrity Chef branded food market is growing. It was the introduction of Food Network in 1993 that jump started the celebrity chef sensation. This coincided with Wolfgang Puck becoming the first modern-day celebrity chef.
With the surge in popularity of celebrity chefs and cooking shows, food and beverage brands continue to be among the fastest growing segments in licensing:
- Celebrity chefs are among the most active licensors. National chefs appear on TV to promote cookbooks or cookware branded with their name.
- Well-known local chefs appear at charity events and festivals to publicize their restaurants.
- Live appearances from celebrity chefs are bringing culinary festivals into the national spotlight as well (Uber-foodies and luxury travelers flock to events like Vegas Uncork’d, a four-day food and wine extravaganza in Nevada featuring celebrity chefs from around the globe).
- More culinary programming in popular media, more brand-building and licensing deals around chefs’ names.
- Marketers are looking to capitalize on the growing prepared frozen food market with restaurant-themed options that simulate a meal out but that draw on the emotional benefits of getting the family around the table.
In celebrated hometown restaurants, big-ticket Vegas destinations, and on TV, consumers learn about the past, present and future of food from culinary superstars. And that lifelong relationship with what we eat is what makes the celebrity chef trend so universally appealing.