Recently The Daily Meal listed the 25 Top Food Blogs of 2012, based on their own formula.
I started thinking about the relationship between food magazines and food blogs, how food magazines are doing, and where readers are going in this new online world. Let’s take a look:
A. National Food Magazines. Here are the annual paid circulations of US top national food magazines:
- 3.20 million Taste of Home
- 1.78 million Cooking Light
- 1.74 million Every Day with Rachael Ray
- 1.52 million Bon Appetit
- 1.47 million Food Network
- 1.33 million Weight Watchers
- 1.07 million Food & Family (produced by Kraft)
- 1.05 million Everyday Food (Martha Stewart)
- 954,000 Food & Wine
- 750,000 Cooks Illustrated
- 549,300 EatingWell
Total: About 15.4 million annual readers.
Now, let’s compare to…
B. Top Food Blogs. Here are the numbers as measured by The Daily Meal:
Total: Over 3.6 million annual readers.
Here’s what we can conclude:
1. Simply Recipes has a stunning reach. She has larger readership than 10 of the top 11 national magazines.
2. A food blog, operated by one person, can reach more people than a corporate food magazine with a big staff.
3. Gourmet magazines are failing. People want easy, homey recipes. The top magazine in the US features reader-submitted recipes, tested in a professional kitchen. They’re like the recipes you might find on…a food blog.
3. Americans want to lose weight by cooking at home, thus the success of top magazines Cooking Light and Weight Watchers, and the blog Skinnytaste.
4. Top television food shows influence what Americans read. Every Day with Rachael Ray, Food Network, and Everyday Food have a combined circulation of 4.26 million.
5. The Kraft company can beat out several well-regarded food magazines by making its own about its own products, and charging $14 a year for a subscription. Amazing.
What do you make of my analysis, and what are your observations?
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Notes: Blog numbers used by The Daily Meal include measurements from Compete.com. *Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes says she prefers Quantcast numbers, which list her at 4.4 million monthly uniques, double the number listed here. Magazine circulation numbers are mostly from 2011, unless linked. Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.