Foodie-focused title Foodism Toronto will launch its first print product in September, approximately 10 months after its Canadian debut as a digital-only entity.
Foodism Toronto first launched in November, becoming the first international export of U.K. publisher Square Up Media’s two-year-old “freemium” publication.
It has since grown its audience to 60,000 monthly unique visitors, while a weekly e-newsletter presenting highlights from the previous week has grown to approximately 8,500 subscribers.
Its growth has been accomplished primarily through word-of-mouth and social media says Foodism Toronto director Krista Faist, who returned to Toronto from London (where she worked in a communications role for Square Up Media) to launch the product.
Faist is projecting the newsletter will have a subscriber base of about 20,000 when the print product launches later this year. In the U.K., its newsletter currently has about 80,000 subscribers.
While its readership is primarily Toronto-based, Foodism Toronto has also attracted readers from pockets outside of the city including Hamilton (which boasts a booming food scene) and the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
Foodism Toronto will have an initial print run of between 50,000 and 60,000 copies when it debuts. Approximately three quarters of its distribution will come via in-person giveaways outside TTC and Go Transit stations in the city, while the remainder will be distributed at select retail chains.
President’s Choice’s PC Black Label Collection has signed on as the publication’s official launch partner, with a program incorporating print, digital, social media, event activations and an integrated cover wrap.
President’s Choice is among what Faist describes as “high tier brands” approached by Foodism for exclusive print partnerships. In the U.K., those slots have been occupied by the likes of Marks & Spencer and Diageo.
Other advertisers currently working with Foodism Toronto include Sam Adams, U-Feast, The Drake Hotel, Favour Delivery and Restaurants Canada. The plan for a 100-page print issue, with approximately 30 pages of advertising.
The title has also launched a new contest called #TOMealsForAYear, in association with restaurant app Zomato. The contest is offering one winner a meal for two at 12 of the city’s top restaurants including Café Boulud, Lisa Marie, The Windsor Arms and Canoe.
Foodism Toronto will launch as a bi-monthly product – publishing two issues prior to Christmas – with plans to eventually move to a monthly publishing schedule. While there is no set timetable, Faist says the U.K. edition moved to a monthly schedule after five issues.
The target audience for Foodism Toronto is food-loving professionals between 25-35, skewing approximately 60% female.