Time Inc. is trying to corner the breakfast market — which apparently is a thing.
The publisher has developed a new digital editorial site called Extra Crispy, which is devoted to breakfast, brunch and the culture surrounding it.
The site marks the second original brand created by Time Inc.’s Brooklyn-based, The Foundry, which debuted The Drive, a car-centric site last fall.
The Foundry, which houses native advertising and sponsored content teams, also develops digital platforms for the company.
The decision to focus on breakfast and brunch came down to research and a “passion” for the food space, offered Meredith Turits, senior strategist of brand development at The Foundry. Turits, a founding editor of women’s web site, Bustle, pointed to research that breakfast order sales topped $52 billion in 2015, marking a 30 percent increase from 2009.
She explained that “dinner” is a space “already owned” by many brands, and that lunch, a less sexy meal, brings to mind “sad desk salads” for many.
“Breakfast is emotional. We want to own it,” she told WWD. “There is a cultural moment around breakfast.”
The site weaves together essays, videos, recipes, photographs, GIFs and illustrations, all devoted to the early-morning meal.
Extra Crispy’s site is helmed by Ryan Grim, a former deputy editor of Tasting Table and ex-managing editor of Vice magazine. Contributors to the site include Kyle Chayka, Jen Doll, John Freeman, Matt Gross, Anissa Helou, Heidi Julavits, Alana Massey, Chris Offutt, Matt Sumell and Justin Warner — all of whom, presumably, eat breakfast.
There is a playful tone to the site, which is mobile-first and Millennial focused. Stories include an essay by Chris Offutt called “The Time I Thought I Invented Smoothies,” “How Far Can You Run if You Run on Dunkin’” by Alana Massey and “A Good Bagel Is Hard to Find” by Jami Attenberg.
Turits clicked on the bagel story, which featured a clean visual of different bagels found in Montreal versus New York. An illustrator produced the captions accompanying the images to give the story a sort of artisanal touch.
“Time Inc. is a food powerhouse,” said the company’s senior vice president of editorial innovation Matt Bean, who buttressed the launch of Extra Crispy.
When asked if the site may cannibalize readership at sibling sites such as Food & Wine, Southern Living and Real Simple, Bean said: “I don’t think so. There are lots of opportunities in the breakfast space.”
He noted that the site would benefit from content from all Time Inc. titles, ranging from Sports Illustrated to Fortune. For instance, the site could cover breakfast from a financial standpoint, Bean offered. There will also be ample opportunities for sponsored content and native and traditional advertising — of course. The launch sponsor is Arla Foods, a Danish dairy company, which is simultaneously introducing its cream cheese and sliced cheese to the U.S. market.
In order to get its name out there, Extra Crispy is sponsoring CoffeeCon in Brooklyn on June 4. It is also launching a national search for a critic to cover the bacon beat, which may be the king of all beats in the breakfast world. The chosen critic will serve a three-month paid internship researching, writing about and critiquing the best of the country’s bacon offerings, in order to anoint one destination with the lofty title “America’s Best Bacon.” The deadline to enter the search is June 24.