Gourmet Launches Social Network

With diners foregoing fancy restaurants and hunkering down in their kitchens, Gourmet magazine has launched an online social network for home entertainers.

The site, called GourmetGuestList.com, is something of an Evite on steroids, with features that let users plan events, send invites, assign tasks and plan the menu. Users also can share photos and recipes. The site went live June 1 after being beta-tested for the month of May.

The upscale food magazine is having a particularly nasty time in print; this year through June, ad pages at the Condé Nast title fell 46.3 percent to 250 versus a decline of 26 percent for the food category overall, per the Mediaweek Monitor.

But Gourmet spied an opportunity to fill a niche for home entertainers on the Web. In a survey it fielded last November, it found that 44 percent of respondents planned to increase their family meal preparation and 33 percent planned to entertain at home more in the year ahead.
GourmetGuestList.com was born out of Gourmet’s marketing department and is not an editorial product; style and entertaining information on the site is provided by marketers, retailers and style experts. Among the recipes are submissions from the site’s initial sponsors, Colavita, Stella Artois, Spice Islands and Irish Dairy Board.