Food Network cooks up BlackBerry app

Foodies can now download meal ideas from their favourite Food Network chefs right onto their smartphones.

Foodies on the go can now download supper ideas on The Food Network’s first BlackBerry recipe application, launched yesterday. The app, downloadable for free on BlackBerry App World, connects consumers with their favourite hosts, recipes and shows, and offers meal ideas on the go.

‘This application serves a very practical and functional role in people’s lives,’ says Paul Burns, VP digital media at Canwest. ‘We would anticipate that the application will resonate with anyone who has a passion for food,’ he tells MiC in an email interview.

Users of the app, developed by Toronto-headquartered Polar Mobile, can read meal ideas from chefs Michael Smith, Anna Olson and Chuck Hughes, search and download recipes from within Food Network’s library and download a ‘recipe of the day’ blast, which is a feature open to sponsorship. How-to videos of tips, techniques and recipes from Food Network chefs are also available.

The Food Network’s promotional efforts around the launch of the application include commercials on the network, banner advertisements and print advertisements in Canwest newspapers. Online efforts include promotion in the newsletter (reaching over 225,000 Canadians), as well as a web page touting features and benefits of the app. Like other Polar Mobile applications, the Food Network can syndicate content through video integration, incorporating brands into recipes, with traceable analytics for brands.

Although unable to confirm whether other Canwest specialties will come out with apps in the near future, Burns says: ‘Mobile is becoming a more increasingly important medium to reach consumers, and deploying mobile tools and applications across our various assets is definitely part of our larger strategy.’