Magazines Were Hungry For Food Ads In Q1

While overall 1st quarter ad pages were down 3.8% among 198 MPA magazines, food brands increased advertising during this timeframe.

After ad pages in the food category fell by 4.9% (-424.9 pages) year-over-year 2012 versus 2011, the category increased ad pages by 7.2% (+123.8 pages) to 1,849.9 total pages in Q1 2013 versus the same period in 2012. During this period, 284 food brands increased ad pages and 135 brands that didn’t advertise during Q1 2012 placed ad pages in MPA titles.

Brands from food conglomerates such as Kraft Foods, Mars Inc., H.J. Heinz Company, and Kellogg Company contributed a large percentage of ad pages in the category. Several of the largest food subcategories increased ad pages January-March, including Snacks & Desserts (351.9 total pages), Diet Food (126.9 total pages), and Breakfast Food (116.6 total pages).

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People achieved the highest share of food ad pages during Q1 with 123.4 pages, followed by Food Network Magazine and Better Homes & Gardens, with 79.5 and 75.9 pages, respectively. Campbell’s was the categorical leader, placing 96.5 pages in 30 titles – including 10 pages in People. Despite the heavy advertising from Campbell’s, the Soup subcategory was down 47.6% in print during Q1.

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Food brands also have a significant advertising presence on MPA Web sites, with 379 brands in the category advertising online in Q1 2013. Campbell’s was also the most active online food advertiser, with a big push from their Campbell’s Kitchen recipe campaign. Pillsbury was the second most active individual food brand with 2,521 placements*.

The MediaRadar charts below show the food brands that placed the most ads in MPA magazines and Web sites, as well as which magazines achieved the top market share of food ad pages during Q1 2013.

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*A single placement is a distinct piece of ad creative that appears in a specific location on a Web site during a calendar month.