How Swedish myTaste plans on winning the online food war
Food and recipe site myTaste wants to become big. Really big.
‘‘We want to assume the same position Facebook’s got for daily events or LinkedIn when it comes to your career,’’ myTaste CEO Andereas Friis tells Smashdig. ‘‘That’s the long-term goal.’’
The company has outlined a new strategy in order to become number one in the online food segment, both in Sweden and the world.
MyTaste recently started testing a new model for native advertising called ‘‘premium profiles.’’ A company can create its own profile on myTaste and post content like any other user on the site.
‘‘The user experience goes hand in hand with how we make money,’’ Friis says.
The online food segment has grown quickly in Sweden in just a few short years. Today, several companies are fighting about users looking for food inspiration or just a quick tip on what to make for dinner.
Kokaihop Media, with its sites Kokaihop.se and Spisa.nu, currently holds the lead in traffic in Sweden. In the beginning of October, the company reached over 440,000 unique visitors (webb+mobile), according to the KIA-index.
MyTaste comes in at second place with just over 434,000 followed by Tasteline with close to 396,000 unique visitors.
However, Sweden is not the sole market for myTaste. The food site exists on 48 markets across the world and averages around 20 million unique visitors every month, Friis says.
But myTaste is not necessarily a rival to the other sites.
Instead the site takes a format, which can be likened to a Pinterest for food. The users can save favourite blog posts and recipes from different sites and ‘‘pin’’ them to their profiles. In that regard, myTaste does not produce any content, that’s rather done by bloggers and members of the site. Some recipes can come from sites such as Kokaihop.se and Tasteline.
‘‘But we do compete for the media investments [advertising revenues],’’ Friis says. ‘‘But the user can use many different sites.’’
How to become number one
And competition for ad money has increased. Publishers such as TV4 and Expressen (both owned by media company Bonnier) is collaborating on the food site Mitt Kök. Recently, Swedish public television (SVT) decided to release a recipe site based on the cooking segments during some of the public service company’s TV shows.
The release was met with heavy criticism, however.
The editor-in-chief of Expressen, Thomas Mattsson, writes on his blog that SVT keeps on doing things that are not TV and ‘‘preferably things that challenge and make it more difficult for privately owned and independent media companies.’’
Friis, on the other hand, is not really concerned about the latest challenge in the food segment.
A public broadcaster doesn’t have the same entrepreneurial spirit as private companies, he says.
Another step in myTaste’s goal to become number one is to place all its editions under one brand. Previously all the local editions had their own names in their own languages. Now, every single site goes under the myTaste name.
The Stockholm-based company has also released an Android app and is working to have an iOS version out before Christmas.
‘‘We can’t just keep doing what the other food sites have done throughout the years,’’ Friis says. ‘‘Something more has to happen for someone to assume the leading role. Our philiosphy is that you [the user] will collect everything in one place.’’
Representatives for Kokaihop Media and Tasteline did not return Smashdig’s requests to comment on this story.Thomas MattssonmyTasteAndereas Friis