A recent independent study of how Internet retailers performed during the summer 2000 ranked Cooking.com eighth overall and first in overall customer satisfaction among the top 50 online shopping sites, according to Resource Marketing Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. The rankings are published in Fortune magazine's Sept. 4 issue. "We are pleased to again be the top performer within our category and the top-rated site in the consumer portion of the study," said David Hodess, president and chief executive officer of Cooking.com. "We believe our focus on delivering a superior online shopping experience to our guests through expanded product offerings, excellent customer service, on-time and accurate shipping, and a user-friendly Web site is reflected in this ranking." Hodess added: "We continually strive to improve the customer experience at Cooking.com, as well as expanding our product offering and increasing our distribution capabilities. Cooking.com provides more than an online shopping experience; it is the premier resource for all consumers' cooking needs, providing them with the ideas, techniques and recipes to make cooking easier and more rewarding. We look forward to providing an even better experience this holiday season." The summer 2000 survey follows an initial report covering the 1999 holiday season, in which Cooking.com also ranked in the top 10. In both, Resource Marketing tested the online shopping sites putting each site through a "stress test" designed to replicate the total customer experience. Eighty-eight specific criteria were used, including site navigation, product availability, customer service and shipping. The study simulated more than 500 customer interactions and required that researchers spend a minimum of 20 hours on each site, nearly 200 times that of the average shopper. Cooking.com was the only retailer in the cooking product category to receive an above-par rating for both studies. More information on the summer 2000 study can be found at