return Home

How Italy’s most successful cooking website went multi-platform - all the way to print

Spinning off a monthly print magazine in 2017 to create an additional revenue stream for Italy’s hugely popular cooking website, Giallo Zafferano, was such a significant success that it sold 2.5 million copies in the first year, says Daniela Cerrato, head of digital product marketing of the Italian magazine division at Mondadori Publishing Group.

Since the Giallo Zafferano website was launched in 2006 with a pledge to publish one recipe a day to inspire people to cook daily in their own kitchens, the site has amassed an immense following. In 2018 the brand attracted 14 million monthly users with 1.6 million people visiting the website every day to cook Giallo Zafferano’s daily recipe.

Today the brand is supported by an impressive social media following, events, branded products, branded recipes, a TV show, recipe books and the new monthly magazine.

 

Daniela Cerrato ()

Daniela Cerrato 

 

The magazine, says Daniela Cerrato, head of digital product marketing at Giallo Zafferano brand owner Mondadori, was successful from launch. With a cover price of only EUR€1 (USD$1.15), the Giallo Zafferano magazine almost immediately sold 650,000 monthly copies monetising from a list of loyal advertisers and contributing an important percentage to the brand’s 96 per cent revenue growth over the past three years. 

Cerrato says the launch of the magazine was a natural extension given the huge popularity of the Giallo Zafferano brand. The financial success can largely be attributed to to the fact that both the website and magazine influences the decisions taken by consumers when it comes to buying products to cook the brand’s recipes.

Independent researchers, Human Highway, found that Giallo Zafferano as a brand was more popular than the local TV show, Masterchef, with 38 per cent of respondents saying they would find it difficult to live without the advice offered by tGiallo Zafferano. 

 

Giallo Zafferano magazine ()

 

“When you cook with the assistance of our platforms, you trust the information when we suggest a product to cook the recipe properly. Because we have earned the trust of our consumers we influence them to use specific products. This gears Giallo Zafferano towards creating branded content.”

She references the work they have done with the manufacturers of a sweetened palm oil spread. Apart from creating dedicated recipes and a micro website to promote it, food bloggers joined Giallo Zafferano to publish the recipes on their blogs, they created social video productions, ten short three-minute TV inserts to run alongside their Giallo Zafferano TV show and added six dedicated pages to the Giallo Zafferano magazine. The overall reach was calculated to be more than 10 million views and/or engagement.  A second part of a similar branded content campaign is being produced at the moment. 

According to Cerrato, the success of developing new brand channels to build a sustainable media model across multiple platforms must be grounded in a solid and trusted brand. The brand started with a straightforward concept: provide people with one recipe a day; make the recipe as easy as possible to cook; and share it via step-by-step instructions to avoid mistakes. 

To ensure the chosen recipes find appeal every day of the year, they use data analytics and feedback from users to pick the perfect recipes. Feedback is something they are not short of.

 

Giallo Zafferano ()

 

One recipe, of a classic Tiramisù, had 1,800 comments and one million video views in one year. They receive hundreds of thousand of photo comments of fans sharing what their final dishes looked like. On 24 December 2017, 2.5 million people went online to Giallo Zafferano to find inspiration for their Christmas meal.

To date the website has more than 4,500 recipes and over 900 videos online. This supported the launch of the new Giallo Zafferano app, which has been downloaded 6 million times. Giallo Zafferano recipes can now also be displayed on a news smart refrigerator which has bone on in Italy and there are several initiatives to integrate the functionality of the app onto smart home speakers.

Despite the massive scope for digital innovation, the need for a multi-platform approach and diversified revenue opportunities simply means that printed magazines and recipe books available on newsstands will not disappear any time soon, she says.

More like this

The publishing industry trends that will shape our future - James Hewes, CEO and president of FIPP

FIPP CEO James Hewes on what will (likely) be happening in media in 2019

Magazine media M&As - what happened in 2018 in review

Why sustainability matters

  • Taking back trust in journalism through personalisation, new payment models

    The best thing about the prospect of improving reader revenues is that it has the potential to liberate news publishers from the scramble for reach, a model that undermines trust in journalism. To take advantage of this opportunity, digital news publishers need to find better payment methods and discovery tools. These were some of the themes explored during the recent Newsrewired conference in London.

    21st Mar 2019 Features
  • New mobile story formats: lessons learnt thus far

    It is early days for developing new mobile storytelling formats. Despite some successful prototypes, most of the heavy lifting is still about to happen, says Jacob Gjørtz, VP marketing at CCI Europe. Based on what we have learnt this far, brevity, video and AI will be central to what happens next.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • Facebook's director of media partnerships on how publishers can work with the platform

    Last year Facebook hired Jesper Doub, who was then CEO of German media giant Spiegel Online, to lead its new media partnership team. In the past the high profile executive has been both a critic of Facebook and a passionate advocate of its Facebook Journalism Project.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • How technology is changing content marketing

    There is a lot of discussion within the content marketing, and indeed the publishing industry in general, as to how recent technological innovations are going to change branded communications. Christine Beardsell, chief content officer and board member of C3, and presenter at DIS 2019, is among the figures leading the conversation. 

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • ‘Pay gates’ perform better than paywalls, proves Swiss news publisher

    A Swiss digital news publisher has found their conversion rate of registered users to paying subscribers has increased by five times since they have altered their approach from building paywalls to creating "dynamic pay gates".

    14th Mar 2019 Features
  • Productivity hacks for magazine editors

    After years of shifts, downsizing, and mergers, some magazine media around the world are feeling the pinch. We're all dealing with strained and sometimes non-existent resources, stretched for time, and tasked these days with doing more with less.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • New mobile story formats: lessons learnt thus far

    It is early days for developing new mobile storytelling formats. Despite some successful prototypes, most of the heavy lifting is still about to happen, says Jacob Gjørtz, VP marketing at CCI Europe. Based on what we have learnt this far, brevity, video and AI will be central to what happens next.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • How technology is changing content marketing

    There is a lot of discussion within the content marketing, and indeed the publishing industry in general, as to how recent technological innovations are going to change branded communications. Christine Beardsell, chief content officer and board member of C3, and presenter at DIS 2019, is among the figures leading the conversation. 

    18th Mar 2019 Features
  • Facebook's director of media partnerships on how publishers can work with the platform

    Last year Facebook hired Jesper Doub, who was then CEO of German media giant Spiegel Online, to lead its new media partnership team. In the past the high profile executive has been both a critic of Facebook and a passionate advocate of its Facebook Journalism Project.

    18th Mar 2019 Features
Go to Full Site