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Brief Published: 3 Jun 2016

Food Content is King

American entertainment giant Time Inc.’s creative lab The Foundry is attempting to harness the success of food-centred online media with the launch of Extra Crispy, an online content vertical dedicated exclusively to breakfast.

Short-form social video is a key driver behind the current demand for food coverage from all angles. Entertainment site BuzzFeed’s food channel Tasty has made ‘food porn’ omnipresent on social feeds, with its bite-sized videos of Doughnut Chips and other junk-food celebrations being prepared. Since launching in July 2015, the channel has become the leading global video content provider, accumulating 1.9 billion cross-channel views in April 2016 alone (Tubular Labs, 2016).

“Millennials are looking at food content in their feeds daily,” explains Esme Williams, vice-president of brand marketing at food-based social networking platform AllRecipes.com. “The top reason is they’re bored. In that instance, the most successful content is food that entertains.”

Publishers that explore the entertainment factor of food beyond recipes draw in large audiences. The New York Times’ food vertical has 8 million unique monthly visitors and 650,000 newsletter subscribers. Meanwhile, online food and travel network Tastemade aims to close in on BuzzFeed’s Tasty with 100 live Facebook shows a month. Even Playboy has promised four food-centred video series as it pivots into lifestyle publishing.

As publishers look to monetise their new content, the space is wide open for brand collaboration; global snack company Mondelez International has just signed a deal with media partners including BuzzFeed’s Tasty and Fox.

For more on developments in entertainment and publishing, see our coverage of the D&AD Festival and The Guardian Changing Media Summit, as well as our monthly Pop Culture Round-Ups.