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  • Recipe Guru Team

How Recipe Guru Is Powering The Way We Shop And Cook

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

This is an updated version of a blog post that was first published in September 2017.

Think about the content you consume on a day-to-day basis. How much of it is in physical form? Perhaps you love nothing more than inhaling that unmistakable new book scent as you leaf through the pages of your latest purchase. Even if physical books are your bag, it’s likely that the vast majority of the content you consume is digital. Companies such as Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon have created an on-demand digital experience that has revolutionised the way we access music, TV, and books.

Cookbooks are unique. Many of us have cookbook collections to rival a small bookstore, yet research shows that we use just 10% of the recipes (or fewer, according to Tyler Florence) in any given cookbook. Instead, we Google. There are more than 500 million recipe searches every month on Google alone. With such widespread availability of free recipe content on the internet, why would you turn to a cookbook for inspiration? The answer is simple: reliability. Cookbook recipe content is developed by experts and tried and tested to ensure its reliability. Online recipe content is often just as reliable, but it can sometimes take a little bit of digging to find that 5-star recipe. Not just that, but cookbook recipe content isn’t portable or searchable. It's no surprise that according to research presented by Google, nearly 60% of home cooks keep their smartphones and tablets handy while they’re cooking. These are issues that frustrated Recipe Guru founder Niamh Sterling, and that frustration turned to action with the creation of Recipe Guru.

Recipe Guru combines the reliability of cookbook recipe content with the convenience and portability of online recipe content. Our timing was perfect. Although the percentage of people cooking at home from scratch had declined in recent years, more and more consumers were ditching restaurant meals in favour of home cooking. This was helped, in part, by the growing popularity of meal kits. Grocery retailers needed to up their recipe game in order to compete. Not just that, but the smart kitchen space was on the cusp of taking off, and both start-ups and mainstream appliances manufacturers were in search of ready-to-use recipe content to power their smart appliances.

Family using recipe on tablet

Publishers were also ready to adapt to a digital world. Cookbooks were losing their appeal, and cookbook publishers were searching for new ways to connect readers with their expert and engaging cookbook content.

“In Recipe Guru we see a timely new way to put recipes in the hands of home cooks wherever and whenever they want.”

Octopus (Hachette)

The opportunity to connect with new audiences is just one of the benefits cookbook publishers can gain by digitising their cookbook content. The publishers we work with are sitting on vast back catalogues of inspiring, tried-and-tested recipe content that is crying out to be monetised. By partnering with Recipe Guru, cookbook publishers are accessing new revenue streams previously unavailable to them. The obvious source of these new revenue streams for publishers comes from licensing recipe content to grocery, CPG and smart kitchen brands, but this is not the only opportunity. Increasingly, recipe content is becoming shoppable, and brands are exploring a revenue share model when ingredients from a recipe are added to a customer’s basket.

Partnering with cookbook publishers doesn’t just benefit the publishers. It also benefits Recipe Guru and our customers. We know that cookbook recipe content is reliable, but equally as important is exclusivity. Since the majority of cookbook recipes aren’t available in full online, Recipe Guru can offer exclusive use of the recipe content we digitise for publishers to our grocery, CPG and smart kitchen customers. Exclusivity is a major draw for our customers, who see it as an SEO-boosting opportunity. Not just that, but anecdotal evidence from grocery retailers suggests that there is a basket value uplift of 3.2% when ingredients from online celebrity chef recipes are added to the shopping cart.

Couple cooking eggplant with recipe inspiration

It’s also a fact that creating fresh recipe content from scratch in-house is difficult for grocery, CPG and smart kitchen companies, many of whom do not have access to kitchens, or the budget to employ chefs. And it is a costly process. Even with the kitchens and chefs required, a basic recipe costs on average three-times more to develop, test and photograph from scratch than it costs to source from Recipe Guru. CPG brands in particular are under pressure to provide engaging recipe content to their customers and to grocery retailers, prompting some CPGs to build their own test kitchens. This is clearly not an option for every company, but sourcing quality recipe content at scale can be difficult – until now. The CPG brands we work with know that adding fresh, seasonal and trend-based recipe content on an ongoing basis is a key part of their marketing strategy, helping to build brand awareness, foster loyalty and ultimately increase sales. We know that many of them are under pressure to provide such branded content to grocery retailers. A trusted source of cost-effective, tried and tested recipe content like Recipe Guru is vital to achieving these goals.

In recent years, a whole ecosystem has emerged that places recipes at the centre. Grocery retailers, smart kitchen manufacturers, recipe and lifestyle platforms are coming together to create a seamless cooking experience, from the online grocery shelves to the kitchen table. Every part of the cooking experience is now influenced in some way by digital, from adding ingredients from a shoppable recipe to your shopping list, to controlling your oven with your smartphone. Recipes are the ‘software’ that power this change in the way we find inspiration, shop and cook. Since consumers spend 40 minutes a week searching for recipe inspiration, the timing couldn’t be better. Through working with innovative companies in the grocery, smart kitchen and lifestyle spaces, Recipe Guru is excited to be playing a part in solving the ‘what’s for dinner’ issue for consumers just like Niamh

If you have content you want to digitise and monetise, or you're in search of recipe content for your website or recipe platform, we'd love to talk. Email to discuss your needs.

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