Food bloggers in Italy: is it a hobby or a job?
In Italy there are 280 food bloggers: is this an activity you can live off or is it only a cost for those who do it without compromise? Let’s find out together
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne
The case with Giallo Zafferano is emblematic. Born in 2006 thanks to Sonia Peronacci and her partner, both accountants who in their free time wrote and photographed recipes to then divulge online. This has become a venture that employs 30 people and has 2 million contacts per day, important investors…. But in the end Sonia ended up not recognizing herself in this project, and has sold her shares and got out. Now she is concentrating on <<video recipes in English too (there is practically an online encyclopedia and I wish to open it up abroad”), and a wider view regarding the cuisine. “Something a little more modern in its contents with respect to GialloZafferano” for example intolerances>> she said in an interview for Gamberorosso.
Another high end food blogger who has a similar passion but is oriented towards haute cuisine and refuses any publicity,: Ada Parisi from “Siciliani creativi in cucina”. When she came to prepare the “polpettine di tonno” and the “caponata” (a dream that you would just not believe) for the Casato Prime Donne award, I asked her <<but being a food blogger has a costs you?>> she touched her glasses and closed her mouth tight <<I am a journalist for a large agency, I try the recipes and I publish them as I like to cook them and share, if I must prepare them with ingredients I do not like, then I don’t do it! >>. “Siciliani creativi in cucina” grows in followers month after month, and maybe it is its rigor that is the key to success .
In the midst of these two strategies there is a whole world recently analyzed by Social Index by Extreme that measured the fluxes, and business and in the end has pulled out a list of influencers.
More than 240 thousand contents published – of which 10% recipes – for more than 15 million interactions online (Twitter 42,4%, followed Facebook 29,1%, Instagram 16,4% and Google Plus 12,1%) which are mostly “likes”. An economic value of around 3 million euro. This is the world snap regarding online burners. There are 380 food bloggers that count here are the names of those who are to be followed: 1° Lorenza Fumelli (www.agrodolce.it), 2° Pietro Petzalis (www.reportergourmet.com), 3° Massimiliano Tonelli (www.gamberorosso.it).
Something is evident though: the visibility grows with a network of alliances on the web that opens doors to the sponsorships and investments. This is the real only system to transform the cooking experience, put online, into a means of earning. However the earnings are not out to make food bloggers into millionaires like Bill Gates or Mark Elliot Zuckerberg but offer <<a decent salary>>as stated by Sonia Peronacci. So which is the solution to this circuit where earnings seem to be not so acceptable compromises with the great industries? Maybe the alternative is to become personalities such as Jamie Oliver, the English chef, who supports teaching to eat well to kids, and with a burlesque manner, proposes the vegetable garden, using extra virgin olive oil, simple recipes that come from the Italian tradition… things that are revolutionary in the UK and in the meantime he has become very rich.