The foodie world is a bit shocked. The Wall Street Journal described the announcement like a giant soufflé falling, and I think it’s a perfect simile. Gourmet magazine, which has been around since 1941, is no more. It’s publisher Conde Nast announced today that the November 2009 issue will be the last issue of the respected food and wine magazine.
While Gourmet wasn’t a magazine that focused solely on organic or sustainable foods, it did focus on cooking from fresh, whole ingredients and ran its share of pieces on topics of interest to the sustainable foodie.
Gourmet has lost significant ad revenue – 42 percent in the first quarter of this year. Conde Naste also publishes Bon Appetite. Speculation was that if one or the other food magazine had to go, Bon Appetite would get the axe because it doesn’t have the prestige Gourmet has. But the bottom line won out and Bon Appetite has lost less ad revenue and has a higher circulation that Gourmet.
Gourmet will continue to live as a brand online, on television and through its book publishing.
I don’t subscribe to Gourmet, but it’s the first magazine I pick up at the salon. I love reading the well-written articles as well as flipping through all the recipes. I frequently pulled a notebook out of my bag to copy a recipe down while waiting for my appointment (which I know was not a help at all for the magazine’s bottom line).