Vancouver developer brings online community to food but is the dish already cold?


Vancouver based food marketing company Food Connect Inc. is launching a new website, Foodconnect®.com (yes their press release put the registered trademark in the URL but don’t type it in if you actually want to visit the site).  The site is described as “the first of its kind to allow food lovers to share, search, rate, plan and learn anything and everything related to food.”  

Mark your calendars, on May 5th 2010 food is now finally on the Internet.  Finally cyber-space is not just about porn, Twitter and Justin Bieber.

“We’re so pleased to provide North American foodies with the content they’ve been craving online,” said Jeremy Mitchell, President of FoodConnect® Inc. “We believe our website is filling a void in the market by providing a place for savvy food fans and home chefs to connect and source new recipes, restaurants, events, nutritional information and daily articles written by food experts from Toronto to Tuscany.”

Apart from some Facebook integration the truth of the matter is Foodconnect®.com might be arriving at the online foodie potluck bringing the fourth bowl of clam dip of the evening.  Apart from ensuring that everyone knows that the words “food” and “connect” used in conjunction with each other are property of Food Connect® there is currently little to recommend the site that we have not seen done elsewhere and done better.

The most obvious example of doing what Foodconnect®.com is doing, but doing it better, is the venerable Chowhound which has been around since 1997.  Other examples are sites that offer some or all, of Foodconnect®.com’s promised features (forums, recipes, restaurant reviews and blog posts) tend towards the more authentic and less corporate such as food writer Michael Ruhlman’s blog, former New York Times writer Amanda Hesser’s Food52 and food blogger The Amateur Gourmet’s new website.

All teasing of their need to slap an ® after their name anytime it’s used aside, the fact is that food has been online well before things like Facebook. lacks anything obvious to distinguish it from what’s been online for years now.  While I would hope that a local company to succeed, Food Connect I can’t see that happening until it finds something to differentiate itself from the multitude of options already online.