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Can Recipes Anchor a Content Strategy?

BY: Suzanne Sugar

As the saying goes, “everyone has to eat.” But what people eat—and how they consume food-related content—differs wildly. Because of this, food-focused brands and retailers are constantly searching for unique ways to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace so they can win the loyalty (and dollars) of fickle consumers.

One way to set yourself apart from other food-centric competitors: a smartly-crafted content marketing program anchored in recipes and consumer insights. This not only provides your audience with an invaluable service but it also positions your brand as a go-to problem-solver, someone who can quickly answer the age-old question “What’s for Dinner?” while providing engaging content that entertains, empowers, and inspires action.     

Let’s be honest: Building a robust recipe experience—complete with thousands of recipes and meal plans—is hard work. And it can feel particularly daunting to food-focused marketers and retailers who simply don’t have the bandwidth or resources. The good news? There’s a simple-yet-effective way to develop a high-quality recipe database that will resonate with consumers. And it’s budget-friendly.  

The solution is licensing recipes from trusted brands with a built-in following, like EatingWell, Real Simple, and Better Homes & Gardens. These recipes have been tested and cross-tested to ensure that real cooks can achieve the desired (and delicious!) results at home. Best of all, you can use these engaging recipes at scale for your website, email marketing, social media, and loyalty programs. It’s quick, budget-conscious, and easy—when you use the right content partner.

So how do you determine the best recipes (and content partner) for your need? For starters, recipes should always include these basics:

Most content partners can curate the right recipes for your brand and audience. But the best ones go beyond that and build a data-driven content strategy that drives deeper engagement, lifts sales, and improves ROI. At Foundry 360, we provide clients with a roadmap for how to best position and amplify recipes. This includes everything from considering seasonality, health requirements (like gluten-free or diabetic-friendly, food trends, various cooking devices (hello, Instant Pot), as well as making sure the recipes are on-brand for you. As delicious as it is, the Lobster Thermador recipe might not be right for a grocer who doesn’t carry seafood.

Finally, how to maximize your use of licensed recipes should be a part of the content strategy from the beginning. For instance, a well-crafted editorial calendar that combines tried-and-true learnings (like making sure you promote an easy-to-create flag cake around the 4th of July on Instagram) with flexibility (like the ability to tap into emerging food trends) is key.  

To earn bonus points with your customers, you can go beyond recipes and provide them with achievable meal plans (ever considered the Mediterranean diet, yet felt unsure of where to start?). Or you can offer them seasonal mini-cookbooks featuring scannable smart codes that can be used to unlock savings, share recipes with friends, or purchase ingredients for in-store pickup or home delivery. The options (and potential) are unlimited!

If all of this still feels a little daunting, no worries. Your brand can simply plug into Foundry 360’s turn-key recipe search experience known as RaaS (Recipes as a Service). Now let’s get cooking together. For more information on how to bring recipes to life as a part of your content marketing mix, contact us today.


Suzanne has worked across a wide spectrum of publishing platforms from traditional print to digital, mobile and machine learning. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and holds a master’s degree in Publishing from New York University. She brings her work experience, along with her education, to help Foundry 360 programs succeed.

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