For food brands and food retailers, content strategy is key when it comes to building authentic relationships and engaging with your consumers.

The competition to get your product in their carts is more of a challenge than ever.

It’s no longer enough for content to just be engaging — you need to offer something more valuable that can solve their problems and inspire them.

You need innovative, smart, food-focused, and consumer-centric content and recipes check all the boxes. Your recipes are integral to every single step in your marketing strategy, from emails to social to grocery circulars — and let’s not forget in-store.

But recipe creation, management, and optimization are expensive, challenging, and time-consuming. However, with the right technology, you could optimize your recipe creation process, get better results, and make food content a key ingredient in your content strategy.

The Importance of Recipes

The biggest challenge of cooking at home has been coming up with different meal ideas every day. And the data supports this:

  • In a recent survey by OnePoll, 55% of respondents admitted that cooking so many meals at home amid COVID-19 is making them feel fatigued.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers wish they could make a healthy meal quickly.
  • And the average respondent has cooked the same meal 28 times since the beginning of COVID — no wonder they’re burning out! 

This is a huge area of opportunity for food brands and grocers: solve the inspiration problem.

The only tactic that will connect you with your customers and engage them through meaningful information, problem-solving and authoritative use of your products is high quality, high intent recipe content.

While a single recipe provides inspiration to your customer, it’s also a great foundation for more helpful content. For instance, you can build on recipes to create even more solutions that support your customers’ needs, such as:

  • Meal planners, which help your customers with time management and follow-through on their diet and health goals.
  • Recommendation generators, which help them discover more of what they like or make use of the ingredients they recently bought.

The Challenges of Recipe Content Management

As a food brand or retailer, you’re looking to create effective recipes that encourage your customers to take action. Get inspired, be engaged, and ultimately buy your product or the ingredients from you so they can cook them at home and enjoy them.

Download the recipe content creation checklist!

The more thoughtful your recipes, the greater the value for your customer.

Plus, well-executed recipes that check all the right boxes can help you reach your customers more effectively and keep them coming back for more high-value content.

Your recipe developers, nutritionists, and IT professionals face several challenges in recipe creation and management. Recipe development is hard enough already. But when you factor in calculating nutrition information, making the content relevant to multiple demographic groups, etc., it becomes a never-ending drain on your resources.

Installing multiple tech solutions is one idea — but none of them are optimized for food content. Plus, let’s not forget the costs, time, and constant upkeep.

And once the content is finally developed, it falls on the content marketers to integrate this recipe content into their overall marketing strategy. There’s also the challenge of tracking content performance and quantifying the impact. How can they even find out if the recipes are having the desired effect and leading to actual product sales?

What if we told you there’s a food-focused content management system that could enrich your recipe content with everything your customers expect?

Whisk’s Recipe Content Platform powers digital food content experiences, helping brands, grocers, and content creators to seamlessly create, manage, enrich, and personalize recipe programs. Whisk’s Recipe Content Platform is the only CMS designed specifically for food content — seamlessly integrating with your existing CMS and other systems, minus complex development and maintenance.

Here are some areas of recipe content management where a food-focused CMS like the Whisk’s Recipe Content Platform could save you time, effort, and most importantly, add value. 

1. Precise, accurate, easily understood formatting. 

For many CPG brands and grocers, recipes are key to establishing relationships with their readers and building engagement. This relationship hinges on trust. The recipe creators are making a promise to their readers that they’ll be able to create the final product at home and it’ll look and taste exactly as promised. 

Cooking the recipe is an expensive process for the reader. When they commit to making it, shop for the ingredients, and recreate it at home, they expect a certain outcome. If it doesn’t meet their expectations, that’s a loss in terms of money, time, and effort. To avoid this loss for the readers, the recipe creator must execute the steps multiple times until they hit the most efficient order and the best final product. 

A good recipe would take all the guesswork out of the equation for the reader. Listing the ingredients in the order they’re used in the recipe, being specific about the ingredient names, and providing exact measurements and nutrition information are all points in recipe content creation that require utmost precision. Clear and detailed nutritional data will also show the reader that you care about their health and that you’re transparent. 

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Timestamps recipes so you know when it was last updated 
  • Automatically structures recipes in the right format
  • Accurately calculates detailed nutrition information, including Whisk’s health score

2. A clear view of the breadth and depth of your recipe database.

To effectively reach your audience and engage them, you need content that is timely and relevant. When you have a clear understanding of your recipe database, you can make efficient use of the content you have. In addition, a thorough view of your recipes would also help you identify gaps in the content and guide future content creation. 

This means, storing all your recipes in one central place so you can tag and label them. Similarly, this would also help you filter recipes based on user preferences and current and emerging trends.

This is important because if an ingredient suddenly exploded in popularity as a superfood or a new type of diet came up, you’d be able to surface the most relevant content. You already have your entire recipe catalog optimized with tags and labels so you can recycle content quickly. Plus, this makes the search on your website a lot more meaningful and relevant to your customers’ needs and preferences.  

Recipe tagging is very intricate and is not the same as tagging other lifestyle content. Does a recipe employ a specific technique or home appliance? Is your recipe’s main ingredient available only during a certain time of the year? Does it pertain to an occasion or gathering, or fall under a cuisine type? Does it cater to a group with health-based requirements or dietary needs?

Recipes pertain to several trends, and when you have a solid tagging system in place, it also helps you stay on top of new trends and make your recipes relevant to what your readers are looking for right now.

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Automatically and intuitively adds the relevant tags to every recipe, existing and new 
  • Catalogs every recipe in one central place 
  • Organizes your entire recipe database for precise targeting and personalization across social, search, and owned platforms
  • Refreshes automatic tags based on trends and customer needs frequently without hassle 
  • Allows for custom tagging based on the unique needs of your business and customer 

3. Increased flexibility and adaptability in every recipe. 

Apart from being precise, recipes need to be accessible to all kinds of readers with different kinds of needs.

For example, you’ve written the precise recipe for one batch of cookies. But what if the reader wants to make three batches? What if they want to freeze the dough and make cookies whenever the craving hits? What if they want to substitute the full-fat butter with a vegan option?

Providing readers the means to adapt the recipe to their specific needs will make your recipe a fan favorite and might even broaden your audience.

Moreover, readers from different regions and backgrounds receive and process recipes in a variety of ways. Good recipes reflect the reader’s reality wherever they live. Measurement units, quantity, and location- or season-specific ingredients are all examples of things that vary based on where your readers are situated.

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Makes it easy to scale your recipe up or down 
  • Applies new tags to keep your recipes categorized as tastes and preferences evolve
  • Swaps out products as SKUs change without requiring an entirely new recipe
  • Helps you manage large amounts of food content across multiple countries and platforms

4. Optimization for maximum reach. 

Making recipes discoverable is key to reaching your customers. And you need to go a little beyond traditional SEO rules to improve the reach of your recipes. Recipes need to be optimized not just for search, but also social media, and digital devices like Alexa.

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Structures your content so it’s easy to use across any channel or device, including future interfaces like voice assistance
  • Automatically labels and curates your recipes into key preferences so your audience can find exactly what they’re looking for (e.g., vegan sweets)
  • Improves your site’s search engine rankings by making the rich data that search crawlers look for (ex: cook time, cook temperature) easily identifiable 

5. Features that make recipes easier to realize. 

Recipes are meant to be acted upon and your user interface must facilitate that. Recipes can enable more than cooking — recipes can make your readers engage with your brand and buy your products. Substituting your brand instead of a generic product and converting recipes into shopping lists are some ways to help your readers interact with the recipes in a more meaningful way. And these thoughtful gestures also help you earn your readers’ trust. 

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Makes any food content shoppable when connected with Whisk’s global network of grocers
  • Ensures that only your products land in carts through your recipes with Whisk Brandlock
  • Allows your readers to go beyond just browsing and save recipes to a list, share, shop, email, print and more
  • Enables you to make product and ingredient recommendations based on readers’ individual preferences 

6. More exciting content with recipes as a foundational unit.

Recipes entertain, engage, and compel users into buying products and trying things out at home.

But you don’t have to stop there. Using recipes as a foundational unit, you can build compelling personalized experiences that your readers want. These will drive more readers to your site and keep them coming back for more. How-to guides, meal plans, recommendation generators, social media content, and more can all be starting points for inspiration and more engagement.

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Enables you to increase engagement through curated content, your own or licensed from Whisk’s partners
  • Allows you to build a branded recipe Community on the Whisk app
  • Provides recipe recommendation based on your users’ preferences and history, and allows them to organize in a central place
  • Allows customized meal plan creation based on consumers’ dietary needs, health goals, and other preferences

7. Advanced insights and direct correlation to product sales.

When you enable some of these additional features on your recipe website, you gain access to many more metrics and insights than just website visits.

However, the metrics for recipe content are vastly different from those you can get for general lifestyle content. For instance, ratings and reviews, whether a recipe was saved to a list, whether the ingredients were moved to cart, etc., are all excellent ways to gauge not only your recipe’s success but also your product or store’s success.

This is a natural, strategic opportunity for grocers and brands to connect better with their audience. Similarly, for content creators and food bloggers, this is an excellent way to monetize and also establish authentic relationships with their readers.

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Gives you additional insights by tracking readers’ every interaction with your recipe content, like save, shop, email, print, and more
  • Helps you track your content’s performance on specific channels and capitalize on the latest trends
  • Helps you understand the correlation between recipe content and product sales without owning a sales channel 

8. Effortless integration of recipes with all marketing systems, product inventory and more.

It’s vital to deeply integrate your recipes into your overall marketing systems. To achieve this, your recipe management system must provide flexible APIs and integrations.

When your recipes are connected with your existing CMS and other technological tools, it will help you achieve maximum impact. 

In addition, when the recipe management system is connected with a shopping platform, your customers might shop directly from your recipes. The recipe’s generic ingredients are swapped out with your branded products.

Finally, when consumers shop the recipe, these orders must be fulfilled for the best customer experience. For this reason, your recipes must be integrated at the store product inventory-level so that your customers aren’t matched with wrong or out-of-stock products.

How Whisk Recipe Content Platform helps

  • Flexible APIs and integrations with Shopify, WordPress, etc.
  • Sits as a layer on top of and connects deeply with all existing systems like social marketing tools, etc.
  • Deep and flexible integrations with store product inventory

In conclusion, when executed right, recipes are valuable resources that help you inspire, inform, educate, and help your audience. You can bring people together and directly communicate with them through food, and recipes are one of the most effective forms of content that help you build inclusive communities.