NEW YORK – Yahoo Lifestyles today launches Yahoo Food, a one-stop portal smorgasbord for contextually fresh and relevant information for meal planners.
The launch made sense given one activity that Yahoo observes each day on its site: At or around 4 p.m., 1.5 million searches for recipes occur, said Deanna Brown, general manager of Yahoo Lifestyles.
“We are trying to answer the question, what’s for dinner?” Ms. Brown said. “Food is still a huge opportunity, which is why we have chosen to create a presence around it. In addition, we’ve had a demand from marketers.”
The site takes on some the Food Network and other sites like Allrecipes.com and Epicurious, some of whom may also double as Yahoo Food content partners.
Kraft Foods is one of the major companies partnering with Yahoo to provide this food resource to users. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Rachael Ray also will play a part with recipe contributions and helpful hints. Other food company partners will be contributing their seasonal best recipes, too.
Ms. Brown said there will be blogs for experts like the New York Times food critic Ed Levine will be able to give their input on the world of food.
The Web site, at food.yahoo.com, will have a quick recipe search for users to search by Italian, Chinese, French or any other cuisine they want. In addition, users can search by how the food is prepared – grilled, sautéed or fried, for example.
Users can specify whether they are dieting, if they are vegetarians and what kinds of spices they would like to avoid in their searches.
Social tools will be put into place as well, allowing users to interact. Yahoo Answers will be integrated into the site so that users can ask questions and receive comments. Users will be able to upload their own recipes and swap recipes with other users.
Yahoo’s local team has been working on a dining guide that will provide users with ratings and reviews of restaurants in their areas.
Advertising opportunities planned include banner ads, co-branded recipes, sponsorships and behavioral targeting based on users’ movements if they log onto the site.
“This is a great opportunity for marketers because it is so easy to target and tailor,” Ms. Brown said. “The site offers users a lot of personalization and users’ role is big. This makes it all the more meaningful.”
The content on the site will be aimed at a diverse cooking population, including helping the novice, expert or intermediate cooks find useful recipes.
The food.yahoo.com site, which went through three rounds of prep tests, will feature a recipe of the day as well as a different quick recipe each day. Quick recipes are meals that take five minutes preparation time, will cook in less than five minutes and will cost under $5.
The site even provides famous food quotes in its Wits and Wisdom section such as this tidbit from the author of Virginia Wolf: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.”