As I’ve written about before, the proliferation of branded podcasts over the last year continues, as marketers become more comfortable with the growing media format and look to engage people beyond a host reading out a scripted message. Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic, eBay, Tinder, Slack, Spotify… and now meal kit company Blue Apron joins the audio fray with “Why We Eat What We Eat,” hosted by Cathy Erway.
Created with Gimlet Media (it’s the podcast company’s sixth branded podcast partnership), the new podcast aims to explore the anthropology behind some of America’s biggest food trends. Episodes will look into how kale went from a deli garnish to a full-on sensation, what makes a picky eater, and the American institution known as the potluck dinner.
Gimlet Media’s deputy creative director Frances Harlow says the goal was to make something different, partly because there are already a lot of food podcasts out there, and partly because “foodie” culture can be intimidating to some people. “That’s why we decided to make a show about eating, not about cooking,” says Harlow. “With ‘Why We Eat What We Eat,’ our goal is to tell stories that will resonate with people who have never turned on their ovens, as much as with professional food bloggers.”
The trailer is intriguing, but perhaps more intriguing is where a new podcast fits in to the marketing strategy of a company that’s been roundly criticized for its massive marketing spend, among other things. Since launching its IPO at $10 a share in June, the share price has fallen by about half.
Last January, the company launched a major marketing campaign aimed far and wide to educate potential customers about just what a meal kit is, and how Blue Apron was aiming to change how we buy food. While a podcast seems a tad niche, it does hit the brand’s core audience sweet spot of urban young people.