Food & Wine is getting a new look.
The redesign comes during the a big year for the title. “We wanted to give the brand a fresher look for its 40th anniversary year,” editor in chief Hunter Lewis said. “We are not changing the DNA of the brand. It’s really about a celebration of print for print’s sake and dialing in the design and some of the new sections in a way that will aid in discovery for the reader.”
Changes include making the cover bolder and more Instagram-friendly, adding more home decor and travel coverage, putting the food and drink sections more forward in the book, expanding the service-y “Handbook” section of the book, and making cookbook author and food writer Gail Simmons into the back page columnist.
“If you look at the past year, there has been a marked turn in our culture as a whole. And certainly in media, and in food. So long-term, you will see a report from Food&Wine that reflects that,” Lewis said. According to Lewis, that means that long-term, you will see more diversity both in who the magazine covers and who is assigned that coverage.
The magazine has undergone a great deal of change over the past year. In June, the magazine announced it was moving to Alabama to join the rest of the companies food titles and, in January, Food & Wine’s ownership changed when Meredith bought Time Inc.
But according to Lewis, the change in location had a bigger impact on the magazine than its new ownership since the redesign was already “well under way” in January.
“We are a brand that is in two cities — half of our team is in New York and half of our team is in Birmingham. New York is always about the new and the next. And we will continue to tap into that. But I’ve learned from being in Birmingham for five-and-a-half years that the way that we shop here, the way that we buy wine here, the way that we think about ingredients, the simple act of shopping and putting things in a car and entertaining, is much more in line with the way that our elevated consumers do the same thing where they live,” Lewis explained.
“You can be in a bubble in New York because there is a very particular way of living and cooking and shopping and making magazines there. If we tap into the best of what we do in Birmingham, and the best of what we do in New York, then we are creating something for our consumers that’s different than what our competitors can do,” he said.
And that’s something that Des Moines-based Meredith, which publishes titles such as Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens and Everyday with Rachel Ray, can no doubt appreciate.