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Betty Crocker stirs up engagement with refreshed cooking app

Betty Crocker, a leading cooking and recipe brand, has revamped its digital cookbook application with new features to help fans stir up more recipes with the touch of their fingertips.

The app has been developed for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch platforms, with the previous version still available on Android. The brand introduced the new app features after being inspired by its top-selling recipe books.

"Our primary goal is to attract and acquire the next generation of Betty Crocker food content and brand champions ? specifically going after the millennial audience," said Audra Carson, digital marketing leader at Betty Crocker. "We know that millennials in particular are the primary consumers of food content through apps (vs. mobile or traditional web), so we see our app as a way to reach and retain this important demographic with cookbook functionality that is relevant to their lifestyle."

Digital cooking
Betty Crocker acknowledges the significantly rising usage of mobile devices, and has reportedly seen a correlation in the consumption of cooking content in mobile applications. More users are turning towards the convenience of apps for cooking recipes, and brands such as Betty Crocker have a prime window to capitalize on it.

?Mobile devices are ever-present in all rooms of the house and the kitchen is no exception ? whether we?re looking up recipes, watching how-to video tutorials or listening to music during the cooking process,? said Jayne Dow, director of qualitative research & digital innovations at Firefly Millward Brown. ?If brands want people to engage with their content, their content needs to be accessible and flexible.?

Firefly Millward Brown is not affiliated with Betty Crocker, but agreed to comment as a third party.

Many food enthusiasts use cooking apps daily. For fans looking for on-the-go cooking ideas, or simply an easy way to read ingredients and instructions in a cluttered kitchen space, mobile apps are an optimal choice.

?Cooking apps can differentiate themselves by thinking beyond just the recipe and considering what else they offer the consumer in terms of value,? said Ms. Dow. ?Perhaps thinking more broadly about the consumer experience while cooking; for example, how do we help people feel at ease in preparing food??

During the app design journey, the Betty Crocker team researched traditional cookbooks and the behavior of app users before learning that many users already have systems in place for managing coupons and shopping lists. The brand?s goal was to focus heavily on connecting consumers with accessible recipes.

Updated features
With over 15,000 recipes available on the app, Betty Crocker fans will be able to explore a host of new dishes in the kitchen. The app has also been updated to include more gluten-free and vegetarian options.

The contents of the app are organized by chapters, and users can save personal favorites to their own chapter. Chapters will also be updated seasonally, with the October chapter offering fall baking recipes featuring apple and pumpkin ingredients, and the November chapter highlighting holiday cookie recipes.

Guests are able to navigate through the application without the screen locking, and can also track which ingredients have been used so far by tapping them off during the cooking process. It also has tools for recipe adjustments, including conversions and substitutions of products.

?If the app meets consumer's expectation of tangible value, it has the potential to not only garner higher fan conversion, but also expand the brand's relevance and meaning to a broader audience,? said Ms. Dow.

Betty Crocker hopes for fans to be able to share their passion for cooking with each other, so users may email, text or socially share their favorite recipes with others directly from the cookbook app.

"Our goal is to have the app become a part of their regular cooking routine," said Betty Crocker's Ms. Carson. "Rather than pulling a favorite recipe out of a drawer, or having to search the web for something new for a special occasion ? our app can be a one stop shop."

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York