Ziplist, the startup that makes it easier to share and discover recipes, has launched its first set of features since being acquired for a reported $14 million by Condé Nast this April.
The company, which operates independently from Condé, claims to have grown its user base to over a million people. Ziplist lets you browse recipes and assemble shopping lists, which you can sync to an iPhone and Android phone. It has strong appeal for publishers and food bloggers too, who can download a free Ziplist plugin that helps format recipes for SEO purposes.
It has partnered up with food-focused blogs as well as lifestyle and entertainment brands — notably, Martha Stewart Living and the Food Network — to populate its database of over 500,000 free recipes.
The company hits on a new trend for tech startups to bridge online and offline worlds. With Ziplist, if you see something delicious at the grocery store (but would prefer to make it from scratch in your own kitchen), you can scan the item’s barcode and convert the ingredients into a handy shopping list.
Since the acquisition, the company has also worked to build out an algorithm. The new feature set boasts personalized recommendations so you won’t have to browse thousands of recipes to find one that appeals. Updates to the app include:
- Personal recommendations: A new “recipes you may like” feature provides recommendations based on recipes that you’ve saved.
- Shopping list suggestions: An “Items you may need” grocery list based on your most popular selections, like milk or eggs.
- Recipe of the day: The trending recipe — save it to your recipe box or add items to your shopping list if you decide to give it a whirl.
Geoff Allen, Ziplist’s founder and chief executive said these “intuitive grocery list suggestions and personalized meal recommendations” make it easier to help users shop. With this new direction, the company faces competition from startups like Foodily, a recipe networking site, and Gojee, which targets users with personalized recipe recommendations.
However, with Condé on board as a publishing partner, Ziplist may have the best shot at reaching a broader audience. Still, I’m not convinced that the core market (people that pour over recipes and painstakingly plan meals) are digital natives. Foodies, do you break out the old recipe book, or do you routinely turn to your smartphones for culinary tips?
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