Food Publishers Come To Terms With Covid-19

If you work in the food industry you will know how important the visual image of food is. You can have food that is super tasty but it also needs to look nice. The same concept applies to food-related content. If anything the need for presentation is greater. This is problematic with producers and editors all sealed up in their homes.

Several big food publishers have all taken novel approaches to solve this issue. Tastemade who publish videos has sent external hard drives to their staff alongside camera equipment. Meredith’s effectively turned their staff’s homes into studios. Other sites such as the New York Times Cooking has just focused solely on Coronavirus content. Amanda Dameron from Tastemade said, “We’re getting aggressive with testing for remote teams.”

prepared

Tastemade has got the jump on their competition and has been preparing for a potential lockdown for more than five weeks. Part of their strategy was to send staff home with all the equipment needed to turn their kitchens into studios.

To overcome the issues with post-production the company invested in more hard drives and has used couriers to ship the videos among team members.

short is best

Unfortunately, this technique only really works with their shorter videos. The longer, episodic pieces have ceased production. However, they are filmed months in advance so the company is well covered for now.

They haven’t ditched all their longer content though. One of their regular shows, Struggle Meals, which shows people how to make meals for less than a couple of dollars per plate has continued production. It has seen an understandable surge in popularity, its total views have risen more than four hundred percent in March. So they have altered the format to keep it running and the host, chef Frankie Celenza is filming daily episodes from his home in Idaho.

In the past fortnight, it’s the site has seen its viewership increase by some 25 percent and its streaming network is up even more than that. Site referrals are up by about 30 percent and Pinterest up by a similar amount. All-in-all they are doing impressive figures.

increase

Meredith have seen a similar increase, especially with their show, All Recipes which has seen a 40 percent increase. One of its shows, Food Wishes is hosted by John Mitzewich and he films in his kitchen anyway so has been unaffected. Re-edits are also in a position where a lot of their content is filmed in advance so haven’t taken much of a hit yet. It also means that the company have been mostly focusing on editing. Like their counterparts, they are trying to avoid a gap in content by filming from home, shipping camera equipment to her staff. Their Vice President and head of video stated,

“We’re embracing the imperfections of home cooking and encouraging the editorial staff to share their cooking process on social media if they are already making meals for their families.”

Not all good

Unfortunately, things aren’t quite so rosy for the New York Times Cooking who have seen their schedule severely affected. The creation of new recipes has slowed dramatically. In the past, the site had produced up to 20 recipes in a week. And although they have stated that they do have content to publish in the coming weeks they have suggested it won’t be anything like the amount that they were producing historically. The knock-on effect is that the company isn’t working with its regulatory freelancers either. Which just goes to show how hard this pandemic has hit the creative industry.

Despite these hardships the publication has also received a massive boon to its traffic, which is up 60% on the figures it was doing last year. It’s just a shame that they won’t be able to make hay while the sun is shining.

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