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Food In A Minute Reaches 10 Year Milestone

23 April 2006

Media Release
Food In A Minute Reaches 10 Year Milestone

Food In A Minute has been helping time poor New Zealanders put quick, easy and delicious meals on the table for a decade – and in the process has become the nation’s number one food programme.

Fifty six percent of consumers watch Food In A Minute at least once a week and it reaches 750,000 household shoppers through its ‘appointment viewing’ television timeslots of 5.59pm on TVOne and 5.50pm on TV2.

Wattie’s Marketing Director Mike Pretty says, “Food In A Minute is now such a New Zealand institution that for many Kiwis the theme music is synonymous with the six o’clock news.”

Mr Pretty says Food In A Minute was conceived as a solution to changing lifestyles and declining cooking skills. “There was an increasing demand for recipe ideas that were fast to make, uncomplicated, but still tasty and satisfying. The Food In A Minute team has successfully met that need with 10 years worth of cooking inspiration, developing recipes that generally have only five key ingredients and can be prepared in under 30 minutes. And every one of them is demonstrated on television in less than 60 seconds – that’s no mean feat!”

The popularity of Food In A Minute is demonstrated by the fact there are more than 65,000 registered members of the Food In A Minute website and almost 200,000 visitor sessions each month. Traffic to the website increases markedly between 3pm and 4pm in the afternoon as New Zealanders start hunting for answers to the perennial question – what’s for dinner tonight?

Mr Pretty says, “The trends that prompted the development of Food In A Minute 10 years ago are just as relevant now – if not more so. Our lives are busier; the demographic make up of our households is more diverse and there is a move towards using convenience products to speed up meal preparation rather than cooking from scratch.”

“We’ve adapted to meet New Zealanders’ changing tastes over the years, including more ethnic recipes, introducing new products and stronger flavours as Kiwis have developed more sophisticated and international palates. But it’s also interesting to note that the very first Food In A Minute recipe 10 years ago was a Tuscan Chicken dish using Wattie’s Italian Seasoned Tomatoes and stuffed olives – a recipe that would still be just as popular today.”

“Wattie’s has been proud to be part of the Food In A Minute team and congratulates the team on a decade of helping New Zealanders find meal inspiration. We look forward to more great recipes and continued success in the next decade.”


10 years of Food In A Minute

- Launched in 1996 in response to a decline in cooking skills and consumer research showing New Zealanders were increasingly time poor. The time was right for a ‘programmette’ providing simple, quick recipe inspiration for main meal preparers.

- Research at the time estimated that at 4pm 80 percent of those who prepare the evening meal do not know what they will cook that night.

- Food In A Minute airs seven nights a week on TV One at 5.59pm – its intro music is synonymous with the six o’clock news for many New Zealanders. It also airs on TV2 at 5.50pm on weeknights.

- 65,000 Food In A Minute website members receive a recipe email update every Monday. The website records 190,000 visitor sessions and over 3 million page impressions per month. The site is busiest between 3pm and 4pm each weekday. Mondays (when the email comes out) are the busiest days followed by Tuesdays.

- 170,000 leaflets of each Food In A Minute recipe are produced and distributed via 250 supermarkets nationwide.

- Food In A Minute is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an exciting new look including a kitchen makeover, new logo and television graphics, updated recipe leaflets and website upgrade.

- Food In A Minute has produced a series of four cookbooks – a 10th anniversary edition is due out in May.

- Food In A Minute’s success was sealed in the early days when a Shepherd’s Pie recipe was so popular it caused a nationwide rush on Wattie’s Potato Pom Poms and supermarkets sold out.

- Food In A Minute’s most memorable flop was the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. While it’s perfectly possible to make a chocolate cake using mayonnaise, viewers made the mistake of buying the wrong products (such as blue cheese dressing!) and the results were often disastrous.

- The most popular recipe ever featured on the Food In A Minute website is BBQ Apricot Glazed Ham with Mustard Fruits (based on number of hits).

- Allyson Gofton and her team create and test the recipes using Wattie’s and co-sponsors’ products then break it down into easy steps that can be demonstrated in less than a minute. They aim for viewers to be able to prepare a main meal in under 30 minutes.

- 10 years ago Food In A Minute recipes were designed to serve six to eight people, in line with the trend towards smaller households they are now designed to serve two to four.
First Ever Food In A Minute Recipe

The first ever Food In A Minute recipe was Tuscan Chicken which was chicken pieces cooked in tomatoes flavoured with olives and Italian herbs. This showcased Wattie’s new Italian Seasoned Tomatoes. Flavoured canned tomatoes were a new innovation for Wattie’s at the time - 10 years on there are 16 varieties of Wattie’s flavoured tomatoes ranging from Moroccan to Indian inspired, demonstrating how New Zealanders’ tastes have become more international.
Serves 4

8 Chicken drumsticks
1 Tblsp flour
2 Tblsp oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced
about 2 cups mushrooms, halved
420g can Wattie’s Italian Seasoned Tomatoes
12 stuffed green olives
plenty freshly ground black pepper
pasta for 4 to accompany (shape of your choice)
Wattie’s Frozen Whole Baby Beans to accompany


1. Remove the skin from the drumsticks if wished. It will help us keep excess fat from our meal. Put the flour into a bag and toss the chicken legs in the flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large lidded non-stick frying pan.
3. Add the chicken pieces and brown over a moderately hot heat for 10 minutes, turning regularly so that the chicken browns evenly.
4. Add the onions, mushrooms, Wattie’s Italian Seasoned Tomatoes, olives and season well with freshly ground black pepper.
5. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
6. Serve with Wattie’s Whole Baby Beans and hot freshly cooked pasta tossed with a little butter and chopped parsley or chives.

Wattie’s Food In A Minute – A Marketing Success Story

- Food In A Minute has the highest profile of any food programme in New Zealand. Every week 56 percent of consumers see it at least once and it reaches 750,000 household shoppers. (1)

- Food In A Minute was paradigm breaking 10 years ago because it met a real consumer need by offering everyday meal solutions without gratuitous branding and product identification. Research has shown that consumers regard it as more of a cooking programme than a commercial. Wattie’s products are featured as an integral part of the recipe; the product is never the key motivation to make the recipe.

- An important key to Food In A Minute’s success is its high consumer relevance:
Inspirational – approachable ideas that evolve with trends, a habit breaker, extends the recipe repertoire, helps cope with relentless need to put interesting food on the table
Easy – accessible ideas, multiple points of contact (TV, in-store leaflets, Next Magazine)
Quick and simple – five key ingredients, accessible ingredients
Encouraging –instils confidence in cooking skills

- Each recipe airs 12 times over a two week period. Sales of the featured products lift more significantly in the second week as it takes time for consumers to absorb the recipe, add the item/s to their shopping list and then make the purchase the next time they do their grocery shopping.

- Featuring a Wattie’s product on Food In A Minute can quadruple its base sales, and this lift is often permanent as consumers incorporate the Food In A Minute recipe into their regular repertoire. Food In A Minute is extremely effective in launching new products to the market and encouraging consumers to trial a new product.

- Wattie’s has successfully partnered with a number of co-sponsors over the years that have recognised the power of Food In A Minute as an efficient marketing tool.
(1) Colmar Brunton research November 2002.
Sales success

Salmon Hash Cakes (Food In A Minute - 30 January to 12 February 2006)

- Featured Wattie’s product was ‘Potatoes O’Brien Recipe Mix’
- A new product introduced to the market in September 2005
- First week on Food In A Minute – sales increased 48 percent (over base sales)
- Second week on Food In A Minute – sales increased by 289 percent (over base sales)

Turkish Chicken Rolls (Food In A Minute – 30 January to 12 February 2006)

- Featured Wattie’s product was ‘Bit on the Side Vege Deluxe Pickle’
- A new product introduced to the market in August 2005.
- Food In A Minute increased base sales by 87 percent

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