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Interviews

INTERVIEW WITH MARIE LAURE MARCHAND

3 Sep - 2019

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Chefclub Network. A new approach to food

LM interview with Marie-Laure Marchand, who recently has joined Chefclub Network as SVP Global Consumer Products & Business Development, with the main goal to bring the licensing approach in this innovative media company devoted to food and cooking

Can you tell us more about Chefclub ? Which is the idea behind and how it has all begun?

On February 2016, Chefclub was launched in Paris. Chefclub has been founded by three brothers who have a fun approach through kitchen. With a previous background in the social gaming industry, they identified a growth opportunity at the crossroad of video and cooking. Chefclub was born among people’s pantries with the ambition to create extraordinary recipes using basic ingredients. Since the very beginning, they invested on content turning simple video recipes into popular entertainment capable of reaching millions of viewers. With this unique positioning, Chefclub has been for 3 years in a row the world’s fastest growing brand on social platforms.

Which are the key factors behind the success of Chefclub ?

We invested first on building a data-driven production organization with no regards for costs and monetization when most players were trying instead to maximize advertising revenues while minimizing production costs. What may have appeared as an irrational investment has evolved then into high-quality entertainment leading viewers to an emotional affinity and trust through our brand. Chefclub has successfully taken advantage from social media platforms introducing the brand to a wide audience – with an engagement that switched viewers into consumers. We go through the business in two ways: either directly through the creation of content-based products and services or indirectly by granting Chefclub licenses to expert partners, widening our distribution channels.

What is your reach and in which languages are your channels running ?

Our global reach is approximately 2 billion views per month and our 5 channels (Chefclub Original, Chefclub Light & Fun, Chefclub Daily, Chefclub Kids and Chefclub Cocktails) are available in 8 different languages: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Chinese and Korean.

Originally the idea was to build the European equivalent for Tasty/Tastemade but there is no border on social platforms and North America has become our largest viewership. Chefclub is building a global cooking brand, from Paris with a very international team. Chefclub is leader in Europe and Latin America. In Korea, Chefclub has been developing through strategic partnerships with local platforms (Naver/Line). In China, Chefclub has been fast growing ahead of local competitors. 

What is your main target group?

Our core audience is women 25-45 years old. However, we address all demographics beyond this core audience. Chefclub reaches 200 million people every month by tailoring its content to fit with each social platform’s DNA and audience. Across Tiktok, Snap, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook: Chefclub’s content appeals to girls and boys from 3 to 99 years old.

Could you share some key figures about this success ?

We have over 1 billion organic views every month, 80 million followers across our 5 digital thematic channels on a global basis and more than 2 million followers every month, making Chefclub the world’s fastest growing cooking brand on social platforms.

How many channels do you have, what is the format of your content ?

Chefclub’s catalogue has grown pretty fast and it is organized into 5 market-driven channels, each one focused on a targeted audience. 

  • Chefclub Original: Amaze Your Friends and Family With Extraordinary Recipes. 
  • Chefclub Daily : Everyday Food, Reinvented. 
  • Chefclub Kids : Get Kids In The Kitchen For Family Time. 
  • Chefclub Light & Fun : Lose Weight With A Smile. 
  • Chefclub Cocktails : Spice Up Your Night With Extraordinary Cocktails.

The accurate positioning of each channel creates unparalleled opportunities to franchise the content and offer dedicated products and services.

Chefclub Original is the leading channel but we are giving to each channel a specific attention, adding new content to increase them all.

Do you have a kid’s division ? How are you organized ?

Following our Kids channel’s success we dedicated part of 2019 to launching a new cooking experience designed to empower kids in the kitchen while giving value to vegetables. Kiddoz are clever measuring cups paired with the 6 Chefclub cartoon characters to make cooking playful and straightforward. Kiddoz are more than measuring cups; they’re an experience. Carefully paired with a cookbook, app, and short digital videos, accessible via QR code, they’ve invented an entirely new cooking experience for kids. Seamlessly integrated into our social videos, millions of viewers interact with the recipes featuring the products directly available for online purchase. As families cook together, Chefclub’s website will showcase user-generated content as parents proudly post their Kiddoz creations, ensuring a virtuous circle of adoption. We are very excited by this new fantastic kids friendly cooking concept and are already receiving a lot of positive signs from our community.

Could you tell us more about the publishing development ?

The accurate positioning of each channel creates unparalleled opportunities to franchise the content and offer dedicated products and services. Publishing is a good example on how to turn viewers into customers. We have created our in-house publishing division and have sold 500 thousand books so far. We have now a steady business in this field and high expectations by the end of this year. Our books are available on Amazon, on our own e-commerce platform, but also at retail in more than 800 stores in France with Fnac, Cultura, Leclerc (Espace Culturel) and independent book stores, as well as in Germany at Weltbild.

Regarding Licensing, which are your main plans for the next future ?

Licensing development is a key strategic goal for Chefclub. This is also the reason why a senior position has been created recently. Chefclub’s ambition is to extend its brand influence across social media and reach its customers on every touch point whether it is on consumer products, promotion, special events or at retail. Going beyond the digital sphere, it is crucial to us to consolidate our brand awareness and establish a long term and healthy brand. 

What are your main projects ?

Our reach is global, therefore we will be hiring licensing agents across the globe and will handle the licensing development in-house in France, our home territory. We will be soon announcing agents in Europe and North America. We will look for agents in Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and China and will meet agencies at the forthcoming BLE in London.

We are currently having advanced discussions with kitchenware, bakeware, home-linen, publishing, stationary as well as food licensees and hopefully we will be able to announce key strategic partnerships this year… So stay tuned!

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