New Zealanders are well-accustomed to seeing foreign magazines on the shelves. But New Zealand mags being published overseas? Surely not. Well, after a very successful run in Australasia, the Healthy Food Guide is heading to the UK after publishing company Eye to Eye Media licensed the mag from its Kiwi owners Healthy Life Media. Co-founder and managing director Phil Ryan says it's a deal that has been four years in the making. And in those four years, Healthy Food Guide has continued on a trajectory that's pretty much exactly the opposite of the magazine industry as a whole, with readership increasing from 280,000 in January-December 2009 to 355,000 at the most recent end of year Nielsen survey. According to ABC figures, paid net circulation was up 1.6 percent to 50,812 in the last quarter.
This stellar performance was recognised at last year's Magazine Awards when it won the Supreme Award and the home, food and garden magazine category. It also took out the Food and Wine section at The Maggies, and all this just five years after its inception.
At the time the awards judges said: “This is an involving magazine; simple and effective with strong results. It knows what it is here to do and does it very successfully, especially when the unhealthy option is often the cheaper one. Healthy Food Guide keeps growing and growing, reflecting the terrific achievements of the publication and its team”.
Strangely, Ryan didn't want to say too much about the UK licensing deal, but a big reason for the magazine's success in New Zealand is its provision of practical advice on food and healthy living, topics of international appeal that, unlike many other Kiwi mags, can cross borders.
There will be some transferring of content directly from the New Zealand editions to the UK editions where appropriate, but essentially the Crownlands edition of the publication will be its own beast.