Wired and Bon Appétit Magazines Collaborate Over MSG and Umami for Their Upcoming Food Issues | Adweek Wired and Bon Appétit Magazines Collaborate Over MSG and Umami for Their Upcoming Food Issues | Adweek
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Wired and Bon Appétit Collaborate on Food Issue

On newsstands in October

Illustration: Daniel Gordon for Wired magazine

Bon Appétit and Wired might seem like strange bedfellows. But when you consider the ever-growing intersection of food and science (think molecular gastronomy, hotly debated GMOs), the magazines’ plans to team up on food editorial content starts to make sense.

The idea was hatched, fittingly, over lunch. Wired editor in chief Scott Dadich was planning a feature about MSG and umami and had been toying with the idea of building a food-themed issue around it. The magazine had done food issues before but from a strictly scientific viewpoint; this time, Dadich wanted to add a service component to help readers “enjoy the process of cooking and eating.”

He shared the idea with Adam Rapoport, Dadich’s counterpart at Bon App. Rapoport was immediately interested and agreed to translate Wired’s story into recipes a home cook could tackle. “Food is about more than just recipes, and what they were doing over at Wired gets at that reality,” Rapoport said.

The result of the collaboration will run in both titles’ October issues. Wired will run MSG-free, umami-heavy recipes from Bon App in collaboration with the Momofuku food lab. Bon App will use social media to direct readers to Wired’s feature, and both will share video and tablet content.

Wired isn’t the only non-epicurean magazine putting a heavier focus on food. In the past year, titles from People to Harper’s Bazaar have looked to food content to appeal to readers and food advertisers—one of the fastest-growing ad categories.

People collaborated with fellow Time Inc. title Cooking Light to create a healthy-eating-themed insert that ran in the magazines’ January issues. (There were plenty of celebrity dieting tips, too.) Hearst’s O, The Oprah Magazine is planning an expanded “Let’s Eat” food section in its September. Food advertising in the issue is up nearly 200 percent year over year.

Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar, generally the provenance of stick-thin models, jumped on the foodie trend in 2012, adding a section called “Fashionable Food” that profiles a different chef each month.

Men’s titles are also playing to the fact that their readers are also becoming more health-conscious, as evidenced by Men’s Fitness doubling its nutrition coverage under Dave Zinczenko. (The magazine’s food advertising correspondingly increased 76 percent from January to September versus the year-ago period.) And readers of Condé Nast’s GQ can now find weekly restaurant reviews by award-winning food writer Alan Richman on GQ.com.

“We certainly have started to see more food brands going into status/lifestyle pubs with stylized creative,” said Andrea Luhtanen, president at Haworth Marketing + Media. “Logic tells us that people who care about how they look care about what they eat.”

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