Today Fexy Media announced the launch of Relish Network, a web app that allows recipe publishers to add features like menu planning to their sites, as well as make their recipes saveable, scalable, and shoppable. The app premiered on Fexy-owned websites Simply Recipes and Serious Eats, and will roll out on other publishing platforms later this year.
Eventually, users will be able to aggregate recipes from all sites in the Relish Network to create custom menus and meal plans. With one click they can then turn those meal plans into grocery lists, which online grocery retailers will deliver or prepare for pickup (as long as the user lives in an area with those services). Right now, the list of participating names includes Amazon Fresh, Instacart and Kroger ClickList.
We spoke with Fexy co-CEO and co-founder Cliff Sharples earlier today, who said that Relish is “effectively a new iteration of shoppable recipes.” Relish also lets users change the number of servings for their recipe, keep favorite recipes in their “Relish box,” and substitute ingredients.
When I first poked around Simply Recipes to try out the Relish tool, I found . . . nothing. Sharples explained to me over the phone that the shoppable buttons are geotargeted. In other words, they won’t show up if you’re not in an area with Fexy-partnered grocery delivery services. Since I had an ad blocker on, apparently it didn’t sense me. However, once I turned my ad blocker off for Simply Recipes, I could see the button. This is definitely a UX issue that Fexy will have to address in the future, unless I’m an anomaly. (Let me know in the comments!)
Interestingly, all recipe sites are welcome to join Relish — not just ones owned by Fexy. And according to their press release, Relish technology can be implemented at “little to no cost” to food publishers.
“The ultimate goal with the Relish Network is to offer a set of very high quality recipe sites… even ones that are competitors, ultimately,” said Sharples. “Users have to have relatively unrestrained choice.”
This idea echoes back to Michael Wolf’s piece last week on DRM and locking in the consumer. Fexy is choosing not to force or limit consumer’s recipe behavior, which is a smart move; with the diversity and amount of recipe publications out there, no one is loyal to only one site.
“Relish will help us enable the next big sea change in how people think about groceries,” said Sharples. “It’s able to ultimately help with that daily question of ‘What’s for dinner tonight?'” It definitely has competition: companies like Innit, Whisk, and Mucho are already deep in the shoppable recipe space. We’ll see if Relish is different enough to make a splash in the highly competitive future of recipes.