What's black and white and read all over?

Yep, the answer is still the same as it was when you were 6. A newspaper.

Despite declining circulation, 80 million Americans still read a newspaper in print or online every day, according to research for Parade magazine, which is about to launch a monthly food publication distributed by newspapers. The publication will be called Dash, with a digital version, DashRecipes.com.

Parade is a tabloid-size general-interest magazine printed on heavy-duty newsprint that about 550 daily and weekly newspapers insert in their weekend editions. Dash will look similar, but it will be circulated online on Wednesdays or Thursdays and in print monthly on the same day in 100 newspapers – just in time for shoppers to read along with the end-of-the week food advertising.

Parade
says its food advertising is up 60% compared to 2009, which was a very bad year. That and the statistics that follow, culled from Parade's market research, are what persuaded the publisher, Advance Publications, that a new newspaper-distributed food magazine aimed at ordinary eaters is a good idea:

About 45 million women read a newspaper daily, Parade found. Of those, 81% don't read food magazines like Cooking Light or Everyday with Rachel Ray. And 62% don't read the food-heavy women's service magazines like Woman's Day or Family Circle. Almost none of them read high-end foodie publications like Bon Appétit magazine or Epicurious.com, both of which are owned by Conde Nast, another division of Advance Publications.

Parade also found that the daily newspaper reader is older – on average 45 years old – more affluent, better-educated than most Americans and likely to be female. She probably has school-age children at home.

"During the recession, a lot of people cooked instead of going out because that's what they could afford," says Allison Werder, senior vice president of business development for Parade. "Now coming out of the recession, they are deciding that eating at home isn't so bad. They're still cooking everyday – not because they are foodies, but because they see value in it."

Certainly, you don't need a degree in finance, statistics or marketing to conclude that taking teens and preteens out for dinner will break the bank and leave you exhausted. So if you can figure out how to work and parent the kids and put a healthy home-cooked meal on the table most days, you'll probably be ahead of the game. At least, that's the way Parade and Dash think you see it now – and for the foreseeable future.

The competition is Relish, a similar publication distributed in mostly small-town newspaper markets. Dash will concentrate on markets in mid-size cities and the suburbs of larger cities

Look for the online version to be live in September with recipes for meals that are, as the site's tagline will say, "Simple. Fast. Delicious. The first print magazine will be out in time for the end-of-the-year holidays with a monthly version debuting in February.

Werder says some of the content will be unique to Dash, but some will be culled from Bon Appétit, Epicurious.com and the recently shuttered Gourmet magazine. Nothing too complicated, though, she says, plus there will be lots of coupons. "We're reaching out to cooks who aren't trying to impress anyone," Werder adds.







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