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Cooking Light Enters a New Industry
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s official; lots of food and restaurant talk on BTB this week. This time it’s about the ever-popular food magazine Cooking Light. It’s the known healthy food magazine and the go-to for recipes, ideas, and resources. With years of success and being able to transform from the '90s idea of healthy to what is healthy today, Cooking Light really does own its niche space. But now the brand is trying something new: bringing its healthy ideas to an actual product that people can eat. It’s not in the magazine world, but instead in the food industry with pre-packaged frozen healthy meals. This could be a disaster, but it could also be quite successful. With such a strong magazine following, Cooking Light could be the brand to step over industry lines and really make a successful transition to a new world.

Not all brands should take this as a suggestion to immediately delve into a new industry. This strategy doesn’t make sense for every brand and is actually more difficult than Cooking Light might make it look. There are very specific reasons why this leap works for Cooking Light and why other brands need to research more before following along. Cooking Light is a magazine brand with a wide range of readership. This is a dedicated following that is engaged with the brand in print and online. Whether or not customers buy a subscription, there is enough engagement to know that Cooking Light is a trusted healthy eating expert. So a transition into a new industry is little less scary for this brand, since the likelihood of bringing customers along is almost a definite.

There’s also the topic of picking the right industry to enter. Cooking Light chose to enter the healthy frozen foods category. It's a category that is a bit dominated by a couple big names, but definitely has room for improvement. It's definitely in need of some new blood and a brand that can update the products a little more. So the transition from content expert to actual product expert makes sense. Customers can easily understand this industry and for Cooking Light it’s an easy addition to its already successful magazine. The brand is already testing recipes for content and creating ideas to share online, so it’s really just finding a way to produce some of these in a format that works for freezer products. And to be honest, the brand wasn’t willing to let this happen unless the results were up to its standards. Once this happened the transition was really a no-brainer. It meant additional success, a new market to attract additional targets, and of course bringing its expertise to a new industry.  

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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