Food52 grows community during the pandemic

Most of the people I know love talking about food as much as they love eating it. And as people spend even more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they're spending more time in the kitchen. No matter how much experience we have, when it comes to cooking, there's always an opportunity to learn, experiment and swap ideas and recipes with like-minded home chefs. Over the past decade, Food52 has built an approachable community of food lovers that does just that, with more than 26 million fans and growing.

For this week's Retail Gets Real episode, Food52 co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs join the hosts to talk more about how their community informs everything from the best recipes to product development, how they've turned fans into customers and how the current environment has impacted the brand. 

Community has always been at the heart of Food52. Starting with recipe contests, the brand cultivated a group of fans that are involved and engaged — and return to the site, day after day. When Food52 decided to launch its product line, Five Two, it took the same community-centered approach, surveying fans to determine what makes the perfect cutting board. That first product sold out in two days.

Stubbs says the community has been rapidly growing over the past several weeks, with more than 50 percent growth in month-over-month visitors and 100 percent year-over-year growth. The team's focus on a relatable, human connection resonates even more in the current climate, and they're rapidly producing new content for home cooks, including a series called "Amanda Messes Up in the Kitchen," in which things don't always go perfectly. 

Listen to the full episode to learn more about how the brand evolved and continues to keep fans engaged. 

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