Given millennials’ well-documented obsession with food, recipes have become manufacturers’ not-so-secret recipe for success: nearly 80% of brands in L2’s Food Index feature instructional content on their websites. To broaden their reach, many brands also invest in increasingly popular recipe destinations like AllRecipes and Yummly. Two-thirds of Index brands actively invest in one of the top four recipe platforms via sponsored recipes, links, videos, and traditional display advertising.

Commanding significantly larger audiences than brand sites, recipe destinations offer food brands exponentially higher visibility. The top four recipe sites average nearly 16 million unique visitors each month. In contrast, the average Food brand site attracts fewer than 200,000.

The L2 study found that Allrecipes, the most popular recipe site with 25 million monthly unique visitors, also drew the most brand investment (46%). Yummly and Food Network followed close behind with 38% and 36% respectively, despite the fact that Food Network’s traffic was more than triple that of Yummly.

Brand investments on leading recipe destinations

On all of the top four recipe sites, sponsored recipes dominated other forms of brand investment, suggesting that brands prefer to avoid explicit advertising in efforts to blend in on these media platforms. Sponsored recipes accounted for 32% of AllRecipes brand investments and 37% of Yummly investments. In contrast, display advertising constituted 16% of investments on AllRecipes and 6% on Yummly.

Video tutorials provide another opportunity for brands to gain visibility on recipe platforms. However, the percentage of video tutorials was in the single digits across all four platforms, indicating that brands have not yet committed to potentially costly production.

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