If you are a recipe creator you definitely take a lot of things into consideration in recipe development process. Apart from food trends, trendy diets, special occasions and meal categories there are other important factors to have in mind. We measured recipe engagement vs recipe visits on over 3000 recipes to see which elements have the biggest impact on its performance. Here are three key metrics for recipe content that make it more relevant and guarantee better engagement and shoppability.
Keep the number of ingredients tight
First thing to have in mind when creating a recipe according to our research is the right ingredient number. The more ingredients a recipe requires, the more complexity it creates. Long ingredient lists also result in higher cost per portion. It means that a complex recipe is not user friendly for everyday cooking.
The optimal ingredient count we discovered depends on the meal type. For breakfast it’s best to keep this number small, below 5 items. The reason might be that this is the meal we prepare and consume in more rush, than others, and we need to keep it short and smart. Simple and cost efficient recipes are also best for lunch, with the ingredient number below 10. The middle of the day is not a moment to flaunt our haute cuisine skills. Home prepared lunches need to be quick and easy to keep us going. For dinners, although we might have some time and willpower to recreate a more complex recipe, it’s still best to have up to 10 ingredients on the list.
Limit the cost per portion
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, the overall cost of a recipe is an important factor the users consider while cooking. High number of ingredients can raise it significantly. Another thing that can influence negatively the recipe cost is the amount of gourmet, expensive or rare ingredients. While from time to time it’s nice to create an elaborate recipe, using exotic spices, rare cuts of meat or imported fruits, it’s not sustainable for everyday home cooking.
The optimal cost per serving that guarantees best recipe performance is below 2 EUR. Not all of your users will actually calculate that number, but with just a quick look over the ingredients list can give them an estimate how much it will cost them to cook your recipe. When developing your content you can add a couple of special ingredients to give your recipe a modern twist. Other than that, try to use ingredients that most people already have in their pantry.
This way your content will be more accessible for average consumers. If you want to show a more creative side of your repertoire, try to reserve more elaborate recipes for special occasions and keep their number low.
Time is money also in recipe creation
The time spent on food preparation on average is different for every country and social group. One thing is still important though: unlike some cooking fascinates, most of us want to spend less time in the kitchen. In our research we found a breaking point in recipe engagement for lunch and dinners, if the cooking time exceeded 30 minutes. Recipes with longer than half an hour preparation time were losing the number of interactions significantly. Total meal preparation time is one of the key factors recipe users look for, so you definitely can’t skip this information on your content.
Recipe content audit
Having the right recipes on your food blog is essential. We understand however how complicated it can be to measure those 3 factors if you have already created a lot of your content. Without special analytics tools and the right data structure in the recipe content, performing this study on your own is a hit-and-miss. In MyMenu we offer a complete content audit for our clients. We can help you to map all your recipes on a decision tree regression model. As a result we identify „star” recipes (with high number of visits and high engagement), „opportunities” (high engagement but low visits) and „flops” (low visits and engagement). Then we help to improve and optimize your platform for better performance.
Here you can read about all the features we offer for food bloggers and recipe platforms.
If you want to know more about the ways we can help you grow your recipe platform, contact us.