A beloved artisanal flour company is sprinkling itself across newsstands by way of its own branded publication launched this spring.
King Arthur Flour, the 225-year-old Vermont producer of whole wheat flours, tapioca powders, rolled oats, and other baking supplies, can now add magazines to its product inventory with the introduction of “Sift,” a seasonal supplement devoted entirely to culinary delights.
“Even though our company has been around since George Washington was president, roughly half of the serious bakers in the country don’t know about us,” Sift Editorial Director Susan Reid told Yahoo Food. “We were a regional brand (northeast) until the 1990s, and only (relatively) recently became a national brand.”
And so, in an effort to raise the King Arthur Flour profile to even more regal heights, Sift was born.
Launched in February 2015, the premiere issue is a feast for the eyes as well as the fingers. Gorgeous full-color photography graces nearly all 108 pages, which are thick and as glossy as the sheen on freshly baked scones.
“In a nutshell, we want people to have quality experiences through baking; to be motivated to head for the kitchen and fire up that metal box to make something yummy,” said Reid.
Yummy things there are aplenty.
In addition to recipes for Ginger-Honey Brioche, Rice-Cornmeal Muffins and Beer Crust Pizza Dough, the magazine also includes a well of feature stories on topics such as a food editor’s Mediterranean dinner party, a certified master baker who has a love affair with beekeeping, and a profile on The Pretzel Bakery located in Washington, D.C..
In the back of the book, a photo spread highlighting decorative butter pat plates, cookbook reviews and food app recommendations act as the mignardises of the editorial coverage.
But while Sift may set itself apart on newsstands with its elegant presentation and toothsome recipes, it is not the first food brand to pursue specialty supplement. Whole Foods Market previously printed its own recipe-driven magazine Dark Rye until it was shuttered, while the Thomas Keller Group has offered a subscription periodical, called Finesse, to fans of the chef’s restaurants since 2010, covering everything from trends to industry issues to farmers of note.
Even Betty Crocker, of ye olde dump-and-stir mixes launched a lifestyle magazine in 1972, entitled Sphere, that offered tablescapes, decorating ideas and dinner party tips.
Reid acknowledged that Sift was influenced by a few forebears.
“We looked at Kinfolk, Modern Farmer, Garden and Gun, Gather, and Dark Rye for inspiration,” she said. “But the title is mostly built on the huge archive of recipes and talent we have in house, with design work from our ad agency, HZDG.”
So far, consumers have responded well, she said. While it is too early for the brand to speculate whether it will dive into other forms of media, like video or podcasts, Reid would share what readers can expect from the coming issue in August 2015.
“The fall issue, which is on sale Aug. 25, features stories on the Anthropology of Pie, cooking with cornmeal with a visit to Gray’s Grist Mill in Rhode Island, Cast Iron Cooking, a tour of Brooklyn dessert spots with Ovenly, and our regular feature called the Bread Board is titled “Apple and Spice and Everything,” she said. “Oh, and there’s also a feature about what to cook from your CSA basket.”
Sift is available for $12.95, at all major newsstands and online at kingarthurflour.com/sift