This Agency Created an Ad-Free, Niche Cooking Magazine

Sous-Vide is HZDG's second publication

A new magazine hit newsstands this week—a niche cooking magazine called Sous-Vide—and the team behind it might surprise you.

The cover of Sous-Vide's debut issue.

While the concept for the magazine came from company Cuisine Solutions, 95 percent of the content created for it was composed by creative agency HZDG's content studio. Yes, an advertising agency is behind a new glossy magazine that also happens to be ad-free.

"There's a whole new sector of publishing bubbling up within the media landscape, there are a whole new stable of magazines that are focused on enthusiast audiences and hyper-niche subject matter," Sarah Schaffer, head of the HZDG Content Studio, said. "People are changing the way content is produced and consumed, so I don't think [producing an ad-free magazine] was that shocking to us."

Selling for $9.99 at stores including Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe's, the magazine will publish twice a year for the time being. The magazine is meant to be a "cuisine solutions publication," for chefs and foodies across the country. In its very first issue, the agency's content studio put together, with the help of a few foodie experts, a profile on chef Daniel Boulud, a guide to eating your way through Philadelphia and more. 

So why is an ad agency specializing in creating ad-free, branded magazines?

"Content marketing has become so important to help brands communicate with their consumers," Schaffer said. "It's rewarding to us as members of the content studio, who all have backgrounds in journalism, media and publishing, to be able to bring to life magazines that are enthusiastically celebrating different types of passion points on behalf of our clients."

Sous-Vide is HZDG's second branded content magazine project for a brand. The agency previously worked on another food magazine, called Sift, which was created for King Arthur Flour. Schaffer added that the agency's content studio has already received interest from other brands for publications outside of food and cooking, and may pursue additional projects in the coming months.