Time Inc.'s Cooking Light, which has long shown readers how to make nutritious meals, is now providing the dinners themselves. This month, Cooking Light is rolling out a new line of prepared foods at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs.
The items, which range from entrees and sides to “Take & Bake” dishes, resulted from a collaboration between the retailer and Cooking Light’s editorial staff, said editor in chief Scott Mowbray. “We went in a little skeptical about how good the food would be, but been really, really delighted with the results,” he told Adweek. “If you don’t deliver a great tasting product in the food market, you’re gone.”
Mowbray said the magazine was partly inspired to develop the products after seeing the success that sister Time Inc. title Real Simple has had with its own brand extensions. The growing interest in healthy living also opened up opportunities for the Cooking Light brand: “Health is no longer niche; it’s become mainstream,” said group publisher Diane Oshin.
This is the first time that the Cooking Light brand has put its name on a packaged food product—despite the fact that, according to Oshin, the line was a “no-brainer.” (The magazine already has number of cookbooks, apps, and a partnership with Aramark dining services that creates special Cooking Light-branded stations at corporate cafeterias.)
BJ's will sell the products exclusively for at least the next year, although the magazine hopes to extend the line to other stores.