Five Possible Reasons Why Food Magazines Are Gaining Ground on Celebrity Titles at the Newsstand

foodnetwork_september2010.jpgCelebrity faces don’t always find favor with consumers at the newsstand, according to industry reports about the first half of 2010. Except in the case of one food magazine.

Launched in 2008, Food Network Magazine shot to the top spot in newsstand sales in the food category for the first half of 2010, selling more than 324,000 copies. Despite its multiple star focus, Food Network Magazine keeps getting bigger, but its singular celebrity peers like Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine (which Food Network Magazine topped to claim the top spot in these latest sales numbers) and Cooking With Paula Deen magazine are losing ground.

Regardless of the losses at the newsstand, star power is an unmistakable ingredient for success, particularly for food and cooking magazines. Overall, their numbers are growing, while entertainment publications (among others) are experiencing double-digit drops. So why, I wondered, are growing numbers of readers finding increasing comfort in food?

Here are five reasons why I think food magazines are gaining on celebrity titles in popularity.

  1. We’ve got to eat. It’s debatable for the fashionista in all of us, but doing without that great new pair of shoes isn’t bad for our health. Not eating is.
  2. We can cook. We might not live the star-studded life or jet from fabulous parties to tropical getaways, but we all can (to varying degrees anyway) cook. 
  3. We could be them. The odds are stacked against us in becoming the next Julia Roberts or George Clooney–moreso than say the “Next Food Network Star.”
  4. We’ve got to save money. Courtesy of the recovering economy, we’re still watching our wallets, and reading magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Taste of Home and Every Day With Rachael Ray can pay off with affordable (and delicious) meal ideas.
  5. But we still want a little luxury. Cutting back doesn’t mean we don’t want to treat ourselves. For gourmet tastes and international flavors, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine and Saveur magazines are perfect for a culinary trip if we can’t afford to go far.
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Michelle Ryan

About Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.