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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Nov 22nd, 2022
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Recipe Guru 2023: Digitized Cookbooks At Your Fingertips

Caroline Eschbach, CEO of Recipe Guru, explains how this platform will disrupt your culinary journey. 

Please tell us a little more about Recipe Guru.

When you're looking for something new to cook, where do you turn? Google, a blog, social media, the back of a soup can? Maybe it’s a mix of all of the above, and perhaps once in a while, you even dust off one of your trusted cookbooks for inspiration. 

Cookbooks contain high-quality content, are professionally developed, well-researched, consistent, accurate, and visually appealing. They’re dependable, like old friends in our kitchen, they join us around the stove every time they’re needed.

However, the capabilities of this content remain stifled by its analog state, which can mean that lower quality digital recipe content can prevail.

The results are often clunky at best and buggy at worst. We believe the industry's most innovative products and services only stand to benefit from utilizing the highest quality cooking content available – our job is to make it available off the page and online

Books, photos, ads, shopping, and maps have all seen meaningful digital transformations but cookbooks seem to be lagging behind. Our mission is to lead this revolution, because we’re moms, tired of screenshots of ingredient lists and instructions, and we’re certain there has to be an easier way to get dinner on the table. 

Thanks to our partnerships in the publishing industry, we’re well on our way to making this a reality with tens of thousands of recipes processed and available on our platform. 

What challenges have you faced along the way?

The biggest challenge we’re trying to solve as a business is, at a fundamental level, data processes and standardization. It’s the challenge of taking a nuanced, human product that varies based upon market, language, culture, author, and more.  

It’s taking a creative, artistic output and breaking it down to its most granular parts, then restructuring that material into a standard that allows for universal processing – and doing that quickly.

Do you believe the digitization of cookbooks is the natural evolution of cooking?

Absolutely. By digitizing cookbooks, we allow the content to thrive, regardless of changing trends. 

It’s about meeting the consumer’s needs. Are they shopping online? Are they asking Alexa, Google, or Siri for ideas? Are they meal planning on an app? Whether it’s visual media or voice commands, built-in or third-party integrated, we’re taking the most valuable content in this space and helping it evolve. 

Who can benefit from Recipe Guru?

Today we’re a B2B focused business. There are so many great companies out there developing consumer-facing products and services that can, and do, benefit from the content we provide. 

Because content development is complex, time-consuming, expensive, and in many cases, simply not a core competency for these businesses, we’re able to remain brand agnostic. This is also thanks, in part, to the tremendous amount of cookbook material publishers have, and our ability to process their content at scale. 

Is Recipe Guru available internationally?

We are. Our biggest partners are located in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. We plan to focus more on the EU this year as we can now offer content in German, Spanish, and French. 

We’re gaining traction in new sectors such as healthcare and education, which is promising. For us, this reinforces how truly universal and interwoven food is with the human experience.  

How do you ensure that content reaches new audiences?

Every partner caters to their own audience. By default, we’re always reaching new people. Our work is to make sure our partners are getting the content that best fits their needs and the needs of their audience. Our most successful partnerships have an ever-evolving curation strategy supported by a data-driven feedback loop. 

What do you think “shoppable recipes” bring to the table?

I believe shoppable recipes can offer an intuitive level of problem-solving and personalization. 

Imagine a recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes but the store is all out. Accounting for this, your recipe knows to swap in a can of crushed tomatoes and tweak the directions to include an additional 10 minutes of cooking time due to the excess liquid – wouldn't that be cool?!

How do you see the future of digitization in the food industry?

We’re seeing digitization across all sectors of the food industry – supply chains, manufacturing, formulations, e-commerce, etc. All are moving towards a more interconnected system to improve efficiency for businesses and, ultimately, value for consumers. 

The pandemic has accelerated consumer demand and brands are attempting to respond. Beyond the more straightforward features of a personalization algorithm or predictive shopping, I believe we’ll see consumers gravitate towards the services and products which are the most convenient. 

Positive environmental impact will also be important, be that more local sourcing of products, reducing packaging waste, or offsetting carbon emissions.

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