BBC Good Food pulls a culinary coup

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 19, 2013
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On its second anniversary, the magazine has come up with a special issue that attempts at bringing a borderless culinary experience.

BBC Good Food India on its second anniversary has launched a special collector's issue that features 25 of the world's best culinary minds such as Imtiaz Qureshi, Neil Perry, Antonio Carluccio, Raymond Blanc, Rahul Akerkar and others. These masters have spoken about their experiences and journeys in the field along with their signature dish.

BBC Good Food

Sona Bahadur

Tarun Rai

Besides regular columns and features, the collector's edition also includes reviews of five iconic Indian cafes that have a history attached to them. These cafes are Kyani in Mumbai, Koshy's in Bengaluru, Indian Coffee House in Delhi, Flury's in Kolkata and Infantaria in Goa. Another attraction for the readers is an interview with Nimrat Kaur, the Bollywood actor who recently featured in the movie, Lunchbox.

Some of the regular features in the issue are 7 under 700, Ready in 30, Good Food Investigates, Eat Like a Local and Masterclass. The issue contains recipes for traditional Indian mithais with a modern twist, and methods for people to create packaged homemade edible gifts for the festive season.

Speaking on the special issue, Sona Bahadur, editor, BBC Good Food India, says, "Today people across India want to be abreast with the world and want to find out what is happening there. This issue is an attempt to create a borderless world through the medium of food. This issue for us is a culinary coup and logistic triumph as we brought the best across the globe together and it is for the first time that any international food magazine has done so."

She further adds that it took six months to compile the issue and the best in the industry have contributed the features.

On the marketing front, the magazine has come up with a specially designed cover jacket and a free Hairy Bikers Cookbook series DVD distributed with each copy. The issue is also being promoted at the retail level at Landmark and Crossword stores pan India and among the digital and social media circles.

Priced at Rs 150, the magazine has 228 pages and the ad-content ratio is 30:70. According to the magazine, its most avid readers are women in the age group of 25-45 years. However, it is being increasingly picked up by men, too.

It is a magazine for people who are passionate about food, whether it is cooking at home or eating out, and are willing to experiment.

Speaking about the challenges, Tarun Rai, CEO, Worldwide Media, says, "The challenges we face are those that any pioneer faces. We are the first international food magazine in India. We, thus, have no precedents to follow. When we launched it was a completely unchartered territory for us. But we learned quickly. And in two short years we have built a very close relationship with the industry, the advertisers and our readers. The way the magazine has grown has surpassed all our expectations."

He adds that the West and North have the highest number of readers, closely followed by the South and East.

Though he did not mention the circulation figures, the subscription and on-stand ratio is 60:40.

The magazine was launched in 2011. Other magazines from the bouquet of Worldwide Media are Filmfare, BBC Top Gear, Femina, Lonely Planet and others.

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