NYT Leader on Product Development (Part 3)

Within our portfolio, the cooking product highlights our product development process from start to finish. In addition, it also illustrates the future potential that new products can develop once they’ve been proven in the market. Our discovery process started with watching how our segments of cooks went shopping, prepared recipes and ultimately cook meals at home.

Using friends and family as testers, we created a bunch of value propositions. In addition, we refined our product vision based on their feedback. From this discovery process, we identified four areas of focus for the cooking product:

Inspire me to cook: People have trouble deciding whether or not to cook. In addition, people want to get excited about the meals that they are preparing.

Help me find what I’m looking for: We found that there weren’t a lot of great search options for meal preparation. For example, “how do I use the asparagus in my fridge?”

Keep all my stuff in one place: There are plenty of crazy systems for organizing recipes. For example, you have newspaper cutouts or index cards stuffed in a cookbook. As a result, we set out to create an organizational system for recipes.

Make cooking accessible for me: Previously, recipes featured in The Times could be intimidating because they had strange ingredients or the cook time was over 4 hours. With this, we had to make the process a lot easier.

In addition, we realized that the metered pay model for the rest of The Times needed to be adjusted for the cooking product. For example, you can read up to 10 free articles per month on nytimes.com – and then your meter resets the next month. With the cooking product, we thought that we’d be giving away too much content under that model. As a result, we developed a premium model that provides 30 days of free access to the product.

Ultimately, the success of new product development is finding new audiences that can benefit from your company’s core strengths and values. From there, it’s all about listening to your target customer and providing value that only you can deliver.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

About the speaker
Alex MacCallum The New York Times, Product Strategy Member

Alex MacCallum is the Head of New Products and Ventures at The New York Times, a position she assumed in September of 2017. In her role, Alex oversees the Cooking and Crosswords products and businesses, as well as new product development. Before joining the Times, Alex was the corporate counsel to The Huffington Post and worked in general management for Lerer Venture backed start-ups. She was also the founding news editor at The Huffington Post and an editorial aide at The Washington Post.

Provide your rating for this post
If you liked this post, please use the buttons to the left to share it with a friend or post it on social media. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Read more

Early Stage Product Development

Alex MacCallum leads the New Product and Ventures team at The New York Times – bringing new subscribers to a traditional media source with engaging content and fresh perspectives. There are many ways of identifying new opportunities for growth – and Alex describes how her team landed on the topic of parenting to create a new content source for The Times.

/ Register for Free

Don’t be left behind in your career. Join a growing community of over 500K Product professionals committed to building great products. Register for FREE today and get access to :

  • All eBooks
  • All Infographics
  • Product Award resources
  • Search for other members

Coming soon for members only: personalized content, engagement, and networking.