Get paid for your food recipes, a disruptive model in the food business

Oct 30, 2013
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After Youmiam’s innovative approach to recipe sharing, the new company Recipay aims to revolutionize the cookery applications market. The new service brings a business model innovation to this recently revived market. By creating a win-win platform, Recipay can reward users with 15€ or 10€ for every recipe that they add to the platform, depending on whether the recipe has a photo for every step or just the final product.

The model is simple: users add recipes with the brands that are available on the website and get paid for it – win, and brands pay the platform to have their brands available for users to add them to recipes – win, finally users “consuming” recipes will see the paying brands in the ingredients. The monetary incentive will for sure attract more users, especially in the beginning while there are so many recipes that could be added, and this can help the platform take off much faster.

It is an interesting twist to Youmiam’s model since they also monetize from the sponsoring brands within the recipes, but they don’t give the monetary incentive to users. To assess the viability of Recipay we need to know how these incentives will impact user behaviour. Will users come for the money alone or can Recipay create a social layer that increases engagement? How will the quality vs volume of the recipes be different with or without the financial incentive? It’s true that Recipay has an approval process to determine if a user is entitled to the reward, but it’s labour intensive and in the long term, scalability might be an issue.

The win-win approach to recipe sharing looks promising and will for sure start growing fast in terms of recipe volume. Some of my concerns rely mostly on the community that is being built, considering that money is not a good motivator, it can corrupt users’ expectations and perception of their contribution. Also in terms of experience design, Youmiam is still miles ahead but imitation takes no time so there’s no real advantage there. The real trouble will come for platforms such as Marmiton that appear stagnant compared to the latecomers to the party. One thing is certain, food is getting sexy!