A few months into its new business and editorial leadership, Condé Nast's Epicurious is relaunching its iPad and iPhone app under the name Epicurious Recipe & Shopping List. The new version replaces the first app, which launched in 2009 and has had more than 7.5 million downloads from Apple’s App Store.
The new app, which was built internally, includes a more photo-heavy, visual layout, enhanced dietary and food allergy filters, a recipe preview mode and voice activation features (all the better for home chefs to keep their iPad screens free of cooking grease). The app’s 31,000 recipes will now be stored in the cloud, allowing for faster access.
There’s also a native ad play: The app integrates sponsored home screen tiles, branded recipe collections and search listings. Campbell Soup is the launch advertiser for the mobile site; Epicurious also is trying to tie the desktop site into the sponsorships.
The app is already an integral part of the brand’s footprint: More than half of all Epicurious users access the brand’s content via a mobile device, said Epicurious svp and general manager Carolyn Kremins. The app also provides the main portal for the brand’s two fastest-growing audiences, millennials and men.
Under Kremins, who joined from Condé Nast Traveler last year, and recently-appointed editor in chief Nilou Motamed, also a travel magazine alum, Epicurious is rebranding as a lifestyle—not just recipe—brand. Food remains a competitive category for publishing companies, and stretching the editorial coverage beyond food can broaden a property's reach with readers and advertisers. “We already had the ‘epi’ part down, and now we want to focus on the ‘curious,’” Kremins said. “The brand was very one-dimensional before.”
That transition will play out in Epicurious' print plans. Five special-interest publications are planned for this year, following the release of a test SIP last year. The first of 2014, Epicurious Crowd Pleasers, just hit newsstands, and while this latest SIP is mainly a recipe collection (it was already in the works when Kremins and Motamed arrived), the remaining four will feature more lifestyle content, like city guides and chef interviews.