Masterchef Magazine February 2012Many of Australia’s leading food food magazines have suffered steep falls according to the latest circulation figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations last week.  The biggest fall was recorded by Masterchef magazine which dropped by a third during the second half of 2011 compared to 2010.  Not being on TV probably accounted for most of the sales decline.  No such excuse for for ABC’s Delicious (-10.1%), Super Food Ideas (-21.0%) and Woolworths Good Taste (-16.3%).  Donna Hay magazine was the standout performer (+13.0%).




July – Dec 11

% Change


Australian Good Food71,237-8.8
Australian Gourmet Traveller76,1291.1
Donna Hay103,00013.0
Family Circle126.1744.7
Healthy Food Guide42,3884.1
MasterChef Magazine99,872-33.4
Super Food Ideas201,690-21.0
Woolworths Good Taste106,705-16.3

About the same time Good Living in the Sydney Morning Herald and sister publication, The Age ran a story about the top 25 food apps, prompting noodlies, Sydney food blog to wonder if there’s now an obvious shift from print to online and mobile for food content. The apps range from Margaret Fulton’s Favourites ($7.49) to Urbanspoon (free).  Interestingly only seven of the 25 apps were free making me think people may be more willing to pay for apps.

SMH Everyday eats 2012 cover

SMH Everyday eats 2012 cover

Digital is increasingly becoming an integral part of publishing.  SMH’s Everyday Eats 2012 reviews over 550 places to eat in Sydney for under $30 and is out Tuesday, 28th February. Editor, Angie Schiavone says it will be in book form ($24.99), digital version ($9.95) and available as an iPhone app ($8.49), release date of the app is tbc.  This year I’m especially excited to be part of the reviewing team.

Trevor Long, technology commentator reckons simplicity is the key to a good app “If it’s cluttered and hard to use, it just won’t get a good report from users, and good reports lead to word of mouth and ratings which lead to an app jumping up the “top lists” of downloads. Apps are one of the many things that are chosen based on user references, be it in the iTunes store or Android Market or via blogs – if users have a bad experience they will let other people know!”

With iPhone, Android and the emerging Windows mobile platforms noodlies thinks there will have to changes in the future, it’s just not realistic for companies invest in a different app for each mobile operating platform. My tip is that mobile or tablet enabled websites will be favoured over apps that are relatively expensive to develop. Trevor reckons “Frankly, for the next 2-3 years apps will dominate” but the future for apps vs mobile enabled websites is more uncertain.

I reckon it won’t be long before someone skips the glossy printing process altogether to release a glorious looking monthly magazine that will look glorious, have content from contributors around the world, feature great recipes, photos and videos.

Speaking of  videos, one thing Trevor is sure about is that “Video is vital. YouTube via mobile is extremely popular, watching on the go and wherever you want. Adding free videos to enhance what in the food sense is a very visual experience will prove successful for food apps”.  As a video food blogger, that makes me feel a lot better!

What do you think?

  • will the decline in sales of food magazine and print publications generally continue?
  • do you use apps and are you willing to pay for them?
  • what are some of the best food apps out there?
  • do you prefer to download an app vs a mobile/tablet optimised website?

Love to hear your thoughts…