When Tasty, Buzzfeed’s food vertical known for its ubiquitous viral cooking videos, launched a customizable, print-on-demand cookbook in November 2016, the brand sold more than 100,000 copies in the first month alone. The success of the custom cookbook signaled to Tasty that its immense audience (which includes 92 million Facebook followers, and nearly 16 million Instagram followers) was clamoring for more print content. So, in December, Clarkson Potter published Tasty Latest and Greatest: Everything You Want to Cook Right Now. The book sold more than 25,000 copies in its first week on sale, according to NPD BookScan.
Born from Buzzfeed’s experimental video unit’s efforts two years ago to crack Facebook video, Tasty, now synonymous with its fast-paced recipe tutorial videos, has achieved more than 67 billion lifetime views across its Facebook network. Tasty expanded, later launching series like Tasty 101, which covers cooking basics, Mom vs Chef, and Homemade vs Store Bought. A platform that built its brand on its unmistakeable videos is moving into print, which begs the question: How do you bring a definitionally digital brand to the page?
“Translating the Tasty brand and inherently social nature of our videos was key to creating [the cookbook],” said Claire King, head of culinary for Tasty. The book reflects what King called Tasty’s “successful formats,” such as its compilation recipes (a recipe done four ways, like Deviled Eggs Classic, Guacamole, Loaded, and Cajun), which are not available in the custom cookbook. “Each page features easy to execute recipes that are accessible,” added King. Other layouts include step-by-step photos, which mimic the rapid-fire videos.
The recipes, dishes from the most-viewed videos over the last year, also reflect Tasty’s intrinsic virality. With this in mind, King said, the book's recipes touch on “viral food and video themes that resonated with our audience in 2017.” This meant, she went on, that "obviously, fidget spinner cookers and rainbow cakes made the list.” Other recipes in the book’s “On Trend” section include Unicorn Cheesecake, Emoji Fries, and Zucchini-Noodle Alfredo.
Though mum about the details, Clarkson Potter did confirm that the publisher has four more books in the works with Tasty.
Reprinted from Tasty Latest and Greatest: Everything You Want to Cook Right Now (An Official Tasty Cookbook). Copyright © 2017 by BuzzFeed, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Lauren Volo. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Correction: A previous version of this article indicated Tasty Latest and Greatest was in the top ten bestselling cookbooks of 2017. That was incorrect.