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Type of site
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Allrecipes.com is a global social networking service and forum headquartered in Seattle, WA, which encourages users to post recipes, comment on and make changes to existing recipes and search for specific recipes. In addition, it allows users to create recipe blogs, vote on pictures of finished dishes, and receive awards based on their submissions and results. Users become part of the community by reviewing and commenting on other people's food-related blogs, pictures and recipes. As of 2010, Allrecipes.com was the most-visited online community for food and cooking, with over 30 million visitors per month and more than 43,000 available recipes.
All users may search and read the site's content, but only logged-in, registered members may post recipes, write blogs, add pictures, or write reviews. Registration is free which provides users with basic functions. A paid "Pro Membership" is required for users to connect to each other, customize recipes, and other features.
Allrecipes.com was co-founded by Tim Hunt, Carl Lipo, Mark Madsen, Michael Pfeffer, David Quinn, and Dan Shepherd in 1997. The company began as Emergent Media, developing early web content for MSN and Corbis. The group came up with the idea for Cookierecipe.com based on an idea by Tim Hunt, and tested the concept with website mockups and online surveys. After success with the first site, the team expanded the project and created Cakerecipes.com and dozens of other, more specific, recipe sites. Eventually all of the sites were combined to create Allrecipes.com. As the website continued to thrive, the Board of Directors raised additional investment and hired Bill Moore, a Starbucks executive and inventor of the Frappuccino as CEO. Quinn became Chairman and Hunt served as CTO until the company's sale to Reader's Digest.
In early 2006, Reader's Digest Association announced its purchase of Allrecipes.com for $66 million. According to Reader's Digest Association's President/CEO Eric Schrier, the company's purchase of Allrecipes.com was to "provide [Reader's Digest] with a valuable digital platform to further leverage [their] position as the country's leading food and cooking publisher,".
The recipes on the website are posted by members of the Allrecipes.com community. They are categorized by season, type of course (appetizer, side dish, main dish, dessert, etc.), and ingredients. Search functionality supports requiring and excluding specific ingredients. Other categories include methods (grilling, baking, etc.), occasions, and cooking style. There is support for finding meal ideas for specific holidays.
Recipes posted on the website include an ingredients list, a serving size (that can be calculated depending on how many servings the person would like to cook). Nutritional information similar to a nutrition facts label is provided for each recipe by Esha Research. Information provided includes servings per recipe, amount per serving of calories, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and protein.
Allrecipes.com also supports:
- Planning a week's meals with the Menu Planner.
- Choosing a pre-set menu each week based on themes such as "Comfort food classics," "Dinners in a hour or less," and "Globetrotting, Vegetarian style." These menus can either be generated by the website or emailed to user and are created by the Allrecipes.com staff.
- Users can also browse weekly menus created by Allrecipes.com members who have chosen to share their menus with the community.
Allrecipes.com is an online community, with both free and paid memberships, in which users may either register as a member and contribute to the information of the site or browse recipes without having to enter personal information. Allrecipes.com has over 30 million visitors per month, more than 8 million registered members and more than 43,000 available recipes. 64% of the sites visitors are women between the ages of 25 and 55, though the site is open to all online users.
Allrecipes.com is available for iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, and Android users. It also has a mobile website than can easily be accessed by BlackBerry users. Allrecipes.com's apps for smartphones allow food and entertaining enthusiasts to access the site and its abundance of user-uploaded content while on the go. It was rated by Alison Sherwood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as one of her "Five favorite food apps." Their popular and free Dinner Spinner app allows users to search recipes and include specifications in their search (such as type of meal, nutrition, key ingredients, and time needed to prepare the dish). With the app, recipes can be saved and easily shared with friends on Twitter and Facebook.
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