Next New to Launch Hungry Nation Foodie Site

Next New Networks on Thursday (Sept. 24) will launch a new Web destination aimed at food lovers called Hungry Nation, along with a pair of corresponding Web video series.

The first, VendrTV is a weekly series focused on the food-truck phenomenon that has been spreading across many cities in the U.S. That show, which will roll out new episodes each Wednesday, has already built a small following online.

The second, Working Class Foodies, is a Next New original. The weekly show, scheduled for Mondays, features a brother-and-sister duo, who strive to cook a different meal each week using fresh, seasonal ingredients for under $8. Both shows will be distributed on the Hungry Nation site as well as Next New’s collection of partner sites, which includes, AOL, Yahoo, MySpace and YouTube.

The concept behind Hungry Nation is to create an online community for the average person who is interested in the trend toward high-quality, unique food—but is not an expert cook. “We want to capture that movement online in a way that is about real people and real food, not star chefs,” said Kathleen Grace, who was recently installed as Next New’s programming director. “This is about food that is more accessible. And it’s aimed at a younger audience that isn’t being addressed by the Food Network.”

Also in the works for Nation is 12 Second Cocktails, an instructional bartending show that is scheduled to kick off in October, as well as yet-to-be-named cooking show aimed at moms.

Next New Networks is still in search of sponsors for Hungry Nation, said Grace. But regardless of the tough ad market for original video series, the plan is for the niche media company to continue to roll out new networks and shows (the company recently underwent some restructuring, sparking rumors of a pullback). “We’re exploring lots of concepts,” Grace said. “If it was up to me we’d be launching more.”