EatingWell Closes 2020 with Growth in Ad Revenue and Magazine Subscriptions

In a year when we have come to expect the unexpected, EatingWell magazine and its website, EatingWell.com, are finishing 2020 strong. Meredith Corporation reports that EatingWell’s December issue saw a 38% increase in advertising revenue year-over-year, and total fourth quarter ad revenue up 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. EatingWell owes some of its success to new advertisers in a variety of categories, including home, beauty and hospitality. New advertisers include Aveeno, Bosch, Delta Faucets, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Nespresso, among others.

EatingWell.com also had a 26% increase in unique visitors in November, compared to last year. In November 2019, EatingWell.com had 3.5 million unique visitors; in December 2020, that number grew to 4.4 million. Followers across the brand’s social media channels also increased. In November, social followers grew 16% compared to November of last year due, in part, to an 85% increase in Instagram followers.

Magazine subscriptions up 61%

EatingWell closes out 2020 with significant growth in ad revenue, website and social traffic, and magazine subscriptions.
EatingWell's December issue. Image courtesy of EatingWell.

In addition to growth in ad revenue and web and social traffic, EatingWell saw a 61% increase in print magazine subscriptions bought online from January through November 2020, compared to the same period last year. Content changes may have contributed to this success.

  • Addition of two columns in the magazine: Future of Food and Growing Healthy Kids
  • Expanded coverage of beauty, celebrities and kitchen renovations
  • Balancing healthy recipes with “more indulgent options”

Publisher comments on growth

Tiffany Ehasz, publisher of the food and wellness magazine, commented on growth in ad revenue, website and social traffic, and magazine subscriptions in a December 21 news release.

“As we reach the finale of EatingWell's 30thyear, this trusted brand is more relevant than ever. It's exciting to see how our content is resonating with consumers as they seek out recipes and information in areas we know so well—food, wellness, sustainability, giving back and beyond—particularly during these times. In fact, according to a recent Meredith Data Studio survey, seven in ten women were motivated to improve the way they eat during the pandemic. Lastly, I'd like to send a big thank you to our advertising partners. I'm very grateful to everyone who has supported us this past year and looking forward to a fruitful 2021,” said Ehasz.

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What’s next?

Thirty years in, EatingWell is not content to rest on its laurels. The magazine has big plans for next year. In early 2021, the brand will publish a What’s Next issue that shares popular new food innovations. In February, EatingWell will offer a print and online feature, The Real Cost of Healthy Food, that explores how race and income inequality impact access to healthy food, a subject that is not often explored.

But wait, there’s more. EatingWell will introduce an online column called Transformed that features the healthy transformations of people’s lives to inspire other readers. Building on the brand’s 30-day challenges, EatingWell will launch a new social franchise called EatingWell for a Healthier You on Instagram, Facebook and Instagram. EatingWell’s in-house experts will share monthly themes, healthy recipes and daily tips on how to live healthier lives. January features a 30-day Mediterranean diet challenge.

“As our readers spend more time at home, they depend on us to provide science-backed health and nutrition advice they can use along with a diverse mix of recipes. We make sure to cover easy, quick solutions for dinner as well as what to make for all those other times—breakfasts, lunches, snacks, desserts and special occasions too,” said Jessie Price, editor-in-chief. “Of course, we're here to help them eat well, but we're also focused on reporting stories that enhance their well-being overall.” 

Insider Take

This year has been dismal for much of the publishing industry. Though the desire for more news and information has grown, many advertisers cut back on their spending during the pandemic, leaving many publishers with revenue shortfalls. Despite the challenges, EatingWell was able to grow ad revenue, web and social traffic, and magazine subscriptions during the fourth quarter, which is impressive. With the exciting content changes planned for 2021, it looks like EatingWell will start the year out strong.