How Delish leads the way among food publishers

August 30, 2018

Written by Benedict Nicholson

Which publishers have been posting the most engaging food content in the last few months? We took a look at the data to see which publishers and Facebook Pages stood out from the crowd.

Food and the consumption and creation thereof is a huge topic of interest on social media, so we decided to look at some of the top creators of food.

To do this, we used our product NewsWhip Analytics to look at content produced that contained a number of food/restaurant keywords to determine some of the top authors, websites, and Facebook Pages that are writing in the food and restaurant space.

Let’s start with the web pages.

Food content on the web 

We looked at web publishers for a number of popular food-specific keywords across the web, to find which publishers got the most engagement for content containing those words.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a runaway winner, and that was Delish, with more than 11 million engagements on its food-related content, which admittedly constitutes the majority of the writing on the site.

Delish was followed by BuzzFeed and Genius Kitchen, both of which found themselves well behind the runaway leader, with around two million engagements each. This success comes from a mixture of food industry news and recipe-focused content.

Most of the other websites in the top ten hovered between one and two million engagements to their food-related content for the three month period.

Since Delish was so far ahead of its competitors in this space, it’s worth looking more specifically at the content that put it on the top of the pile. So we looked at the top ten articles for all publishers writing about food in terms of engagement to web content. Delish featured heavily in these, featuring four times in the top ten.

Interestingly, the very top stories tended to be about food news, rather than the recipes that one might expect to see. As is often the case with these rankings, there was the inevitable crossover between politics and food, with Chick-fil-A coming in for criticism from the Huffington Post driving a good number of engagements.

There are more than just the normal big players to look at in this segment though, with food content being an area in which smaller blogs perform particularly well, especially on Pinterest.

Below is a list of the top ten most engaged pieces of content from smaller websites and blogs, all of which got tens of thousands of engagements, most of which came from Pinterest pins.

The Recipe Critic, with its top author Alyssa, does particularly well here, as she features three times in this top ten. One thing to note is that these are all recipes, as opposed to the food news we saw from other publishers. This is a virtue of the platform, Pinterest lends itself both to smaller publishers and to recipe content, so this is a perfect harmony of the two.

The descriptive wording in the headlines, making it very obvious from a quick glance what the recipe is, is something that has worked well for all of these articles.

Facebook native food content 

So that was web content, but what about content made expressly for Facebook?

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, Delish again comes out on top, though it’s a much closer run race this time, with BuzzFeed Tasty coming just behind.

I Am Baker also had a significant number of engagements on its Facebook page, coming in with 16 million engagements on the keywords we looked at as compared to Delish’s 35 million and Tasty’s 21 million. The rest of the field was a little further behind, all having under 10 million engagements for the three month period.

We did spot one thing that was interesting in terms of Delish’s content, and that’s that it is extremely formulaic in an easy to follow, replicable way.

As you can see in the chart above, all ten of Delish’s top Facebook posts for the period followed the exact same format; native videos whose title begins with the phrase ‘How to make’.

In fact, it extended even beyond this, and the trend is true of every single one of the native video posts in the top 100 pieces of Facebook content that Delish posted in this period. All of them had the words ‘How to make’ at the beginning of the headline.

And native video was the main component of Delish’s success on Facebook, with 92 of the top 100 posts being in that format. It also accounted for around 67 percent of the top 1,000 posts.

This follows a pattern we saw with other pages. Video is by far the most engaging type of food content on Facebook, with just 18 percent of the content posted being responsible for 64 percent of the engagements.

Another thing of note is that photos actually underperform somewhat, which is a bit of an unusual trend. Traditionally we see videos overperform while photos perform right where we would expect them to, but this broke that rule somewhat, with photos responsible for only 15% of the engagements, despite being 27% of the content posted.

There are a few things to take away from all of this, and they can be summed up as following:

  • Delish is far and away the most successful web publisher on food content
  • Pinterest is a great place to stand out with recipe content, especially for smaller blogs that find it hard to compete on noisier platforms
  • Having an easy to follow, replicable strategy for videos has done wonders for Delish’s engagement

Want to pull some of these insights for yourself? Take a tour of NewsWhip Analytics.

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Benedict Nicholson

In addition to leading the NewsWhip Research Center in New York, Benedict Nicholson manages partnerships with internationally recognized media outlets furthering data journalism, which includes NewsWhip’s Data for Democracy program. Benedict also facilitates consultations with communicators from the top 10 public relations agencies across America and Europe and with Fortune 500 brands to discuss consumer engagement trends and effective media monitoring. Email Benedict via

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