- Vice Media's food and culture vertical Munchies is teaming up with American Dream, a new food and entertainment complex, to open the Munchies Food Hall next year, per a news release.
- The Munchies Food Hall is scheduled to open in spring 2019 in Meadowlands, New Jersey, as one of American Dream's two food halls, according to Digiday. The 38,000-square-foot space will feature room for 18 vendors and a staging area where Munchies can shoot videos and hold demos with chefs.
- Munchies will receive a brand licensing fee under the deal, as well as royalties based on the revenue generated by the food court. Specifics of the financial details of the agreement were not available, according to Digiday.
Munchies' food hall concept is an attempt by the Vice-owned vertical to expand its brand and add a revenue source outside of digital advertising. The publisher is also aiming to create unique experiences for the growing foodie culture that is driven by millennial and Gen Z consumers, who have more global, diverse tastes. Experiential food activations, like food trucks, food courts and food halls, are becoming increasingly popular with brands, as they often draw visitors who are eager share their experiences online and on social media platforms like Instagram.
Since launching four years ago, Munchies' digital ad revenue has dropped from 100% of its revenue source to 25%, its co-founder and publisher John Martin told Digiday. This has led the food and culture publisher to diversify into other revenue streams, including a line of meal kits with Chef'd (which went out of business in July). Munchies also released a cookbook last spring and has two more in the works, and regularly hosts branded events at its headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Food and culture verticals broadly continue to innovate when it comes to forming branded partnerships that engage audiences. Tastemade recently partnered with Subway on a deal that includes themed culinary explorations, data-driven menu inspiration, trend intelligence and marketplace innovation. Subway is tapping into Tastemade's creator network of food influencers, called "tastemakers," to inform new menus that are more relevant to local markets. Tastemade is also reportedly looking into creating its own cafes, according to Digiday.
Several brands are embracing the food-centric trend as well. Kellogg has found success with its NYC Café, where it hosts cereal-themed events, including royal wedding watch parties and Hailee Steinfeld concerts.