Food Network Magazine Bakes Up A Special December Issue

Food Network Magazine, with its ever-expanding rate base, is one few success stories at a time when a poor economy and worries about new technology and publishing platforms have some concerned about the print magazine industry. So the magazine — and its advertisers — have a lot to be thankful for this season. The optimism shows through in its December issue, which hits newsstands tomorrow, November 23rd. We spoke to Vicki Wellington, Food Network Magazine‘s vice president and publisher, to learn more about what the magazine has in store for the holidays.

Wellington told us that this, the magazine’s 17th issue (including its two test issues), is its biggest ever. When asked whether any of the magazine’s content has been tweaked as its readership and reach has grown, Wellington says that the title has chosen to stick with its original formula and with what’s been shown to work so far — which means keeping the focus on food with the help and expertise of the network’s stable of celebrity chefs. The way she sees it, she explained, the magazine offers “food entertainment” to its readers, and that this particular issue serves as a “marketplace of gift-giving” to help food-lovers cook, entertain, and share gifts this holiday season.

Pictured above is the issue’s special three-page cover gatefold, sponsored by Starbucks, which features tips on how to create the perfect gingerbread cookie. Other big-name advertisers in the issue include Truvia, which helped create an 8-page pull-out booklet on 50 holiday drink ideas. Additionally, Sam’s Club worked with Food Network personality (and New York’s new First Lady) Sandra Lee on a 9-page unit showcasing recipes made with products and ingredients found at the discount chain.

Many of these units are part of the “360 Program” Food Network Magazine offers its advertisers, where companies have the opportunity to run on multiple platforms, including online and broadcast in addition to print.

Non-food advertisers showcased in the December issue include Toyota, which is running an ad in the magazine for the first time, as well as Clinique, which was the title’s very first advertiser.
As a special bonus, the issue also features an extensive gift guide — “100 Gifts for Food Lovers” — designed to help the magazine’s food-loving readership with their holiday gift shopping, with ideas including food items and tools for the kitchen.