August 26, 2016 Last Updated 3:12 pm

Bonnier launches new digital food service Måltid

‘Food content is data content. Not only in terms of ingredients and the delicate balance between measures, but also very much in what and how readers use recipes online’

A great Swedish progressive rock band from the ’70s was called Samla Mammas Manna, and their first great LP, released in 1973 was called Måltid. I’m quite sure you don’t care about any of this, but how often do I get to write about Samla Mammas Manna on Talking New Media? I mean, you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.

maltid-screen-790Måltid, it turns out, means Meal, as in food. There is no reason why the band called it that, they were pretty much dadaists, but this is the name the Swedish publisher Bonnier has chosen for their new data driven digital food brand.

“Food content is data content. Not only in terms of ingredients and the delicate balance between measures, but also very much in what and how readers use recipes online,” Bonnier said in their announcement for the launch. “We live in a Googling age, where good-old recipe books are left on the shelves, and users seek out food content to fit their specific needs, allergies and budgets. They want inspiration, but they also want guidance in what to use specific ingredients with. Who hasn’t Googled ‘chicken recipes?'”

Bonnier owns US magazines, of course, having entered the market when they acquired World Publications. One of those magazines that came along with the sale, one that was a big of an outlier with World was the food magazine Saveur.

Back before I got all my food information online I actually subscribed to Saveur because it had, and has, a unique perspective on food. It is a world food magazine, with writers who travel the globe and bring back interesting stories. It is also, like Williams-Sonoma, I might add, a conservative brand. Saveur spurned video at at time when it was obvious that video would be huge, especially with cooking. It had no interest in interest in digital editions, despite Bonnier’s involvement in developing the Mag+ digital publishing platform. In short, Saveur has been the most frustrating title in the Bonnier portfolio – both for those outside of Bonnier, and those inside the company.

This is all a way of saying that if you are looking for an innovative approach to food from Bonnier you are probably better off looking at its Scandinavian operations.

Måltid was launched first in Denmark on August 8 in collaboration with Benjamin Media, and in Norway on August 23 (there appears to be a Swedish site, too, but the announcement fails to mention a launch date for that destination).

The sites treat recipes as data, which makes sense, and utilizes the recipes from the Bonnier publication websites such as Bo Bedre, I Form, Tara, and Allt om Mat.

“One of the fantastic things about this project is that it was achieved in close collaboration among our teams in Denmark, Norway and Bonnier Tidskrifter in Sweden. It shows what we can do when we work together,” said Bonnier Publications CEO Jesper Buchvald.

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