According to New Media, the improved user experience, which is underpinned by search functionality, aims to make recipe selection from the Food24 catalogue easier and more efficient.

"Accessibility and the presentation of inspiring content were key drivers of this rebuild," says Natalie Wilson, newly-appointed head of food at New Media. "We want to be the one-stop-shop for all South Africa's home cooks."

"To that end, there was also a special focus on, for example, the mobile experience that serves cooks on the go, as well as curated collections for ease of reference," adds Wilson.

Users can now filter their search by:
  • category
  • ingredient
  • dish type
  • serving size
  • cooking time
  • method
  • occasion
  • dietary preference, or
  • cuisine.
Recipe discovery is another feature of the new site, which presents collections such as braai, easy weekday meals and the like.

"The most complex part of this build was the migration of legacy content," says Swipe iX CTO and co-founder Deon Heunis. "One of Food24's USPs is its vast array of recipes and ingredients."

"Bringing the database over to the new environment intact was arguably the most important part of the brief. And it wasn't just an importing process; we wanted to make sure the data was sanitised to a point where future e-commerce integration is possible," adds Heunis.

"For that to happen, we had to sort close to 70 000 ingredient variations into a clean list of just over 3 000 unique ingredients," he says.

New Media had indicated that, coupled with the new site, there is a brand-new visual identity and logo that intends to bring Food24 'firmly into the New Media family'.

New Media CEO Aileen Lamb says, "Food media is our bread and butter at New Media. We've been producing quality food content — for our own brands as well as our clients — for over 20 years."

"Going forward, food will play an ever-increasing role in our business, as will the skillset that Swipe iX brings to the party (New Media completed its acquisition of Swipe iX in early June)," adds Lamb.

"The new Food24 website is a strong collaboration that marries our specialised storytelling expertise with exceptional technical ability. This is the kind of solution that our clients will also benefit from as Swipe integrates further into our business," he says.

"At a time where true digital transformation for many organisations is really still in its infancy, combining the strengths of our two distinct yet complementary businesses will enable us to deliver the sort of ground-breaking innovations that will push the envelope of what is possible," says Hendri Lategan, Swipe iX’s CEO and project lead on the Food24 rebuild.

New Media says that the new Food24 site also brings about several new opportunities for advertisers and sponsorships, with a refreshed Food24 newsletter and an improved advertising campaign management facility that allows for targeted section-specific sponsorship takeovers.

"The introduction of enhanced curated content hubs, centred on particular editorial themes, provides even more options for advertisers to align their messaging with exciting news and recipes — including exclusive custom branding opportunities of multimedia elements such as video players and image galleries," adds Lategan.

Food24 reports that its total digital audience grew to 1 824 626 in April, showing a year-on-year increase of 36.9%.

"Although this new site has been in development for several months, lockdown has given us an opportunity to present it to a bigger audience,” says Wilson. "We are committed to serving our loyal community and our new users."

"The Food24 team is already producing 1 500 new recipes and 500 new articles every year. Our goal is to keep providing our audience with the content they crave and to bring them more features to make Food24 even more useful to them over time," concludes Wilson.

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