APN bites into digital food hub

  • Digital
  • October 5, 2012
  • Deirdre Robert
APN bites into digital food hub

With the relaunched New Zealand Herald now simmering along, APN is turning some of its attention to the imminent launch a new website that will be dedicated to all things food and cooking, called foodhub.co.nz. The digital offering will house APN’s new and archival recipe and food content, showcasing more than 6,000 recipes drawn from APN’s newspaper and magazine publications including the NZ Herald, its regional newspapers, and magazines including the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and the New Zealand Listener.

APN chief operating officer Todd McLeay says Food Hub will appeal to a wide range of New Zealanders who want trusted recipes using local ingredients.

“Our consumer research has shown us there’s a real need for recipes that appeal to us as New Zealanders, using seasonal ingredients that are easily accessible,” he says. “Focus groups also told us they wanted Kiwi recipes using standard New Zealand weights and measurements. We’re all busy, don’t have much time and find it annoying to have to convert US imperial measures.”

The website will be a digital partner to the NZ Herald’s new Monday food section, Bite, as well as featuring new content as it appears across the APN network of titles. At last count, Food Hub launch publisher Kirsty Cameron says various APN publications collectively generate about 30-plus new recipes every week, and 95 percent of the recipes on the website will be from the APN portfolio. But as well as being a repository for recipes, reader interaction will be an important component.

“We’re really keen to engage with our reader and build a nice, strong sense of community around the site. You’ll be invited to register and become a member of the food hub and that will allow you to post and comment on the website,” she says.

Food-orientated print publications face a number of hurdles: the market is already crowded and people are increasingly jumping online to find recipes instead of turning to magazines. But what makes Food Hub stand out as a digital proposition, says Cameron, is the currency of its content and its mobile and tablet optimisation.

“You could be sitting on the bus in the morning thinking about what you might make for dinner that night. Obviously if you don’t have a magazine with you, it’s a little harder to find that inspiration. But if you’ve got your phone, you can jump on Food Hub and be inspired.”

APN has secured three key launch partners, including Countdown, wine distributor Advintage and Sealord.

Cameron says the sponsors are supported throughout the site with traditional run of site advertising, and the site will also house sponsor-generated recipes, though these will clearly be marked as sponsor content.

The website was built Born Digital and is currently undergoing internal testing, launching towards the end of the month.

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