Gourmet Traveller editor hungry for more, introduces new focus, podcast and TVC

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 24 August 2017
Gourmet Traveller's September issue

Gourmet Traveller has undergone a significant refresh, backed with a new recipe for marketing, all under the new direction of editor-in-chief Sarah Oakes.

The September issue of Gourmet Traveller focuses more on emerging food trends, with an increased prominence for travel and more of a focus on long-form features.

Brands backing the publication including Rolex, Nespresso, Domayne, Harvey Norman, Liebherr, APT Touring & Cruising and Sydney Theatre Company - al featured advertisers in the September magazine.

As part of the launch, Gourmet Traveller has partnered with Melbourne’s Lune croissants for a pop-up activation. Lune croissants will be available for the first time in Sydney, free of charge, to Sydney readers who take a copy of the September issue to Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills today. The launch is also being supported with a commercial running on SBS.

sarah oakesSarah Oakes

“Food and travel are unparalleled their social currency right now,” Oakes tells AdNews.

“There is no standard age, gender or income of passionate food lovers anymore. Rather there are food lovers across every demographic so I wanted to refresh the magazine in a way to respond to that change in the market."

Oakes says we can expect to see more pages dedicated to healthy eating, popular culture and regional communities.

“When we did our clean eating issue we saw a 40% rise in sales,” she says.

“It speaks to healthy eating not being a passing trend but a real shift in focus of the way we cook, eat and prepare our food.”

Oakes replaced Anthea Loucas in May this year, with a long career in women’s magazines, including Girlfriend, Cleo and Fairfax’s Sunday Life. Loucas had been editor of Gourmet Traveller for 13 years, leaving behind a huge legacy.

“It’s my job to build on the legacy Loucas left behind,” Oakes says. “Gourmet Traveller is one of the rare titles that has weathered a turbulent time in magazine publishing a lot better than many of the magazines in the market and that is because of the work being done here.”

To coincide with the new magazine, a fortnightly podcast has also been launched, tapping into the trend of publishers moving into the medium.

The 20-minute podcast, ‘Set Menu’, launches its first episode without a sponsor but Oakes says they are open to bringing on board advertisers once they have an established audience.

Bauer GM of homes and food Cornelia Schulze says the new-look magazine offers more flexibility to clients who are increasingly demanding more integration with the brand.

Luxury market maturing

Growth in the luxury market is seeing major publishers make a play in the space previously dominated by magazines, such as Gourmet Traveller, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Luxury retail has grown to 11% a year over the five years to 2016-17, to reach $1.8 billion, according to industry analyst IBISWorld.

Earlier this year News Corp announced the launch of its luxury ad network to target more affluent readers. Last last week Junkee launched a more "premium" lifestyle style targeting 25-44 year olds and Fairfax made a move into men’s luxury.

“The luxury market is a segment of the market that is outperforming other segments in advertising,” Schulze says.

“There are new magazines being launched and sometimes they disappear, sometimes they don’t – that’s part of the picture. It’s a sign that the market is alive and kicking.”

When asked who Gourmet Traveller competed in the market, Schulze responded: “How much time do you have?”

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