New Media, the owner of Food24 and Eat Out, today launched a brand-new, fully responsive Food24 website. Built by New Media’s in-house dev agency, Swipe iX, the new site mixes Food24’s 18-year legacy of 15 000 recipes and 7 000 food articles with a beautiful new look and smart tech under the hood.
An improved user experience, underpinned by powerful search functionality, makes recipe selection from the vast Food24 catalogue easier and more efficient. Users can now filter their search by category, ingredient, dish type, serving size, cooking time, method, occasion, dietary preference or cuisine. Recipe discovery is another key feature of the new site, which presents collections (think “braai”, “easy weekday meals” and more) on a clean, understated interface, allowing gorgeous food photography and videos to speak for themselves. This offers tantalising inspiration for the more casual browser.
Says Natalie Wilson, the newly appointed Head of Food at New Media. “Accessibility and the presentation of inspiring content were key drivers of this rebuild. We want to be the one-stop shop for all South Africa’s home cooks. To that end, there was also a special focus on, for example, the mobile experience that serves cooks on the go as well as curated collections for ease of reference.”
This is reflected in Food24’s new tagline: “Inspiring South Africa’s kitchens”.
“The most complex part of this build was the migration of legacy content,” says Swipe iX CTO and co-founder Deon Heunis. “One of Food24’s USPs is its vast array of recipes and ingredients. Bringing the database over to the new environment intact was arguably the most important part of the brief. And it wasn’t just an importing process. We wanted to make sure the data was sanitised to a point where future e-commerce integration is possible. For that to happen, we had to sort close to 70 000 ingredient variations into a clean list of just over 3 000 unique ingredients.”
Coupled with the new site is a brand-new visual identity and logo that bring Food24 firmly into the New Media family.
New Media CEO Aileen Lamb says: “Food media is our bread and butter at New Media. We’ve been producing quality food content – for our own brands as well as our clients – for over 20 years. Going forward, food will play an ever-increasing role in our business, as will the skillset that Swipe iX brings to the party (New Media completed its acquisition of Swipe iX earlier this month). The new Food24 website is a strong collaboration that marries our specialised storytelling expertise with exceptional technical ability. This is the kind of solution that our clients will also benefit from as Swipe integrates further into our business.”
Swipe iX’s CEO and project lead on the Food24 rebuild, Hendri Lategan, adds: “At a time where true digital transformation for many organisations is really still in its infancy, combining the strengths of our two distinct yet complementary businesses will enable us to deliver the sort of ground-breaking innovations that will push the envelope of what is possible.”
The new Food24 site also brings about several new opportunities for advertisers and sponsorships, with a refreshed Food24 newsletter and an improved advertising campaign management facility that allows for highly targeted section-specific sponsorship takeovers.
Hendri says: “In addition, the introduction of enhanced curated content hubs centred on particular editorial themes, provides even more options for advertisers to align their messaging with exciting news and recipes, including exclusive custom branding opportunities of multimedia elements such as video players and image galleries.”
Food24 has proven to be incredibly valuable to South Africans during the lockdown, with the brand’s total digital audience growing to 1 824 626 in April, a year-on-year increase of 36.9%.
“Although this new site has been in development for several months, lockdown has given us an opportunity to present it to a bigger audience,” says Natalie. “We are committed to serving our loyal community and our new users. The Food24 team is already producing
1 500 new recipes and 500 new articles every year. Our goal is to keep providing our audience with the content they crave, and to bring them more features to make Food24 even more useful to them over time.”
The new platform is now live at www.food24.co.za.