Alton Brown's Competitors

Part
01
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Part
01

Alton Brown Non-Chef Competitors-Part 1

Three of Alton Brown's competitors include Dr. Michael Mosely in the U.K., Michael Pollan in the U.S., and Adam Richman in the U.S.

Competitor 1: Dr. Michael Mosely

Competitor 2: Michael Pollan

Competitor 3: Adam Richman

  • Adam Richman is a TV show host and foodie famous for his various food-related shows, including Man v. Food, Man Finds Food, Amazing Eats, Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America, Food Fighters, Secret Eats with Adam Richman, and BBQ Champ. He will be partnering with Facebook this year to create a new food show for Facebook's Watch platform.
  • According to SEM Rush, Adam Richman had 1,400 visits to his website in November 2019. He has 624,000 followers on Twitter and 242,000 on Instagram. He promotes tours on his website and on twitter.

Research Strategy

While the competitors listed above occasionally cook or describe cooking in their content, the research team determined that none of them were chefs. None of the above competitors became famous for their cooking skills, their content does not feature their own cooking to a great extent, and they do not describe themselves as chefs in their personal bios or on their respective websites.

Each of them were deemed to have content similar to Alton Brown's. They have all been featured on film or television for food-related topics. Each of them have produced content with elements of food science and they try to provide more understanding about the nature and origins of food to their audiences. Finally, each of them includes an element of humor in their work. For these reasons, these competitors were deemed to produce content similar to Brown's.
Part
02
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Part
02

Alton Brown Non-Chef Competitors-Part 2

Three of Alton Brown's competitors include Hilary Hart, Ina Garten, and Ted Allen, all of whom are located in the U.S.

Hannah Hart

Ina Garten

  • Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, is a cookbook author, television personality, and regular columnist for magazines (e.g., Martha Stewart Living and Food Network magazine).
  • Garten's fame comes from her cookbooks and award-winning recipes (e.g., she has received multiple James Beard awards). On her show, Barefoot Contessa, Garten is known for her useful, back-to-basics tips for cooking and hosting dinner parties.

Ted Allen

  • Ted Allen is a television personality (first appearing on the first version Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), a cookbook author, and contributor to Esquire magazine. Ted also hosts Chopped on the Food Network.
  • Allen specializes in original recipes, helpful suggestions regarding wine pairings and food presentation. His show features tips on how to successfully cook "dangerous" ingredients or prepare difficult dishes (duck tongues) as well as lighthearted, humorous chef competitions.
  • Allen has 249,000 followers on Twitter, 172,000 followers on Instagram, and 111,000 thousand followers on Facebook.
  • Allen's personal website provides information for how to book him for speaking engagements, appearances, or television shows as well as promotes his recent television appearances, publications, and media stories that feature him.

Research Strategy

The research team focused on food industry periodicals that ranked or promoted food "influencers," cookbook authors, and food television personalities. This strategy provided us with several individuals, so the team narrowed the search to individuals who competed with Alton Brown in multiple ways, e.g. recipes, humor, food technology, and helpful offerings. Once we narrowed our list to Hannah Hart, Ina Garten, and Ted Allen, we located each of their personal websites as well as social media channels. In studying the bios of each, we noted that, while each of the above competitors cook, none is a trained chef, nor operates as a chef (e.g., runs a restaurant).

Part
03
of four
Part
03

Alton Brown Non-Chef Competitors-Part 3

Two of Alton Brown's competitors include Christina Grdovic and Nilou Motamed. They are both recognized as influential people in the food industry.

Christina Grdovic

  • Here is the link to Christina Grdovic's Food and Wine website.
  • Christina Grdovic is a recognized influencer in the food industry. She has served as a publisher for Food & Wine for ten years.
  • The Food and Wine website content include food science, food technology, recipes.
  • Christina Grdovic has conceived and directed numerous programs including Bravo’s “Top Chef” and the Holland America Culinary Arts Program.
  • According to SE Ranking Research, Food & Wine website receives about 13,685 clicks a month. Her Twitter account has more than 15,600 followers and she has more than 500 connections on LinkedIn. She promotes her tours/schedules on the Food & Wine website and her social media pages.

Nilou Motamed

  • Here is the link to Nilou Motamed's website.
  • Nilou Motamed is a television personality, food magazine editor, and a judge of Bravo's Top Chef. She has also been named "one of AdWeek’s 30 Most Influential People in Food".
  • According to SE Ranking Research, Nilou Motamed's website receives about 17 clicks a month. She has more than 25,600 followers on Instagram and 21,900 followers on Twitter. She promotes her tours/schedules on her website and her social media pages.

Research Strategy

We commenced our research by searching through the food industry periodicals and articles. We were able to find individuals that compete with Alton Brown. Once we narrowed our list to Christina Grdovic and Nilou Motamed, we located each of their personal websites as well as social media channels. Each of them has produced content with elements of food science, food technology, and recipes.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Top Food Technology and Food Science Influencers

Among the top five influencers in food technology and food science with content similar to Alton Brown are J. Kenji López-Alt, Izy Hossack, Vani Hari, SORTEDFood and Byron Talbott.

J. Kenji López-Alt

  • As per his website, J. Kenji López-Alt is an American chef and food writer, who currently serves as the chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, the chef and partner at Wursthall restaurant in San Mateo and the author of the James Beard Award–nominated column The Food Lab.
  • Moreover, among his many other food-related endeavors and achievements, Mr. López-Alt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.
  • Throughout his work as a chef, as well as his activities on TV and in writing, Mr. López-Alt is known for his "decidedly scientific approach" to food and cooking, as well his deep exploration of the science behind cooking itself.
  • As an influencer, Mr. López-Alt has been highlighted within rankings of the top 25 and top 30 food influencers.
  • Specifically on social, he has a strong presence on Twitter (61,600 followers), Instagram (186,000 followers) and YouTube (259,000 subscribers).
  • Meanwhile, Mr. López-Alt was selected as a top influencer in food technology / science with content similar to Alton Brown given his standing as a top influencer in food, his similar approach to science-backed cooking and his presence across a variety of media including TV.

Izy Hossack

  • As per her website, Izy Hossack is a UK-based home cook and food writer who has published two books: Top With Cinnamon and The Savvy Cook.
  • With a bachelors in Food Science & Nutrition at the University of Leeds, she is known for her "culinary experiments" as well as her patience in explaining the science and steps behind easy-to-create recipes for the home cook.
  • As an influencer, Ms. Hossack has been highlighted within rankings of the top 10, top 20 and top 25 food influencers.
  • Specifically on social, she has a varied presence on Twitter (9,000 followers), Instagram (205,000 followers), Facebook (22,000 followers), Pinterest (63,000 followers) and YouTube (3,000 subscribers).
  • Meanwhile, Ms. Hossack was selected as a top influencer in food technology / science with content similar to Alton Brown, given her standing as a top influencer, her scientific twist in making and explaining recipes, as well as her informal and personal manner of explaining cooking to the home chef.

Vani Hari

  • As per her website, Vani Hari (aka The Food Babe) is an American activist, blogger and New York Times best-selling author who is known for bringing attention to the less than healthy food industry practices and habits prevalent across the US and worldwide.
  • Specifically related to food technology and science, Ms. Hari is known for her deep understanding of ingredients, GMOs and the science behind food products, and is looked to as a source for credible information about the science behind healthy eating practices.
  • As an influencer, Ms. Hari has been highlighted within rankings of the top 25 and top 30 food influencers.
  • Overall on social, she has a strong presence on Twitter (104,000 followers), Instagram (293,000 followers), Facebook (1.1 million followers), Pinterest (72,000 followers) and YouTube (40,000 subscribers).
  • Meanwhile, Ms. Hari was selected as a top influencer in food technology / science with content similar to Alton Brown, given her standing as a top influencer in food, her focus on educating the public about the science of food and nutrition, and her presence across a variety of prominent media channels.

SORTEDFood

  • SORTEDFood is the collaboration of UK-based childhood friends Ben Ebbrell, Mike Huttlestone, Jamie Spafford and Barry Taylor, who together have created one of the "world's largest food and cooking communities" through their YouTube channel.
  • Through their YouTube channel, SORTEDFood has more than 2 million subscribers, an average of 3.7 million impressions per video and received approximately 91 million organic views in 2018.
  • Moreover, SORTEDFood has been highlighted within several rankings of the top 10 food influencers, particularly on YouTube.
  • Not only do they bring humor and fun to their "how-to" episodes, they introduce bits of scientific insight into their shows with information related to food flavor and preservation as well as best practices ranging from the home kitchen to the larger food industry.
  • Meanwhile, SORTEDFood, and the brand's four ambassadors, were selected as a top influencer in food technology / science with content similar to Alton Brown, given their standing as a top influencer in food as well as their fun and creative approach to discussing food and science-backed cooking information with home cooks.

Byron Talbott

  • As per his website, Byron Talbott is a New Mexican-born chef, food stylist, photographer and culinary influencer, perhaps best known for his YouTube channel.
  • Although his content related to food technology and science is more subtle, he is generally "fascinated" with "science behind food" and looks to explain the reasons behind what makes his techniques and gourmet dishes so effective.
  • As an influencer, Mr. Talbott has been highlighted within rankings of the top 7 and top 10 food influencers.
  • Specifically on social, he has a varied presence on Twitter (17,000 followers), Instagram (102,000 followers), Facebook (114,000 followers) and YouTube (1.4 million subscribers).
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Talbott was selected as a top influencer in food technology / science with content similar to Alton Brown, given his standing as a top influencer, his strong presence in video, and his interest in communicating the science behind gourmet techniques.

Research Strategy

In determining the most mentioned influencers in these areas, they were selected based on content most similar to Alton Brown. While there were a handful of lists for top influencers in food technology or food science, many either had credibility issues, or used a different and less relevant interpretation of food technology and science. Also, while we did identify a slightly older list of "12 food science Twitter accounts you need to know," the individuals identified produced content that was only tangentially related to that of Alton Brown, because they appeared to miss the larger entertainment value, humor and teaching themes of this TV personality's work.

Considering the limitations of this strategy, we further broadened our approach to an even more general search for top influencers in food. The goal of this strategy was to identify the most mentioned influencers in food, and then select those with content that incorporated food technology and food science. From that subset, we then identified the top five influencers in food technology or food science with content similar to Alton Brown.

Please note, for the purpose of this analysis we included two slightly older lists of food influencers from highly credible resources (AdWeek and Forbes). Although these were published in mid 2016 and late 2017, we believed it was appropriate to include this research to demonstrate that many of these food influencers have maintained their standing over time, and have been recognized by multiple industry experts as a top influencer in this space. In all cases, at least one recent source highlighted each of these individuals as top influencers in food.

Also, please further note that an extensive search for the website of SORTEDFood revealed no official website for this influencer, other than the group's YouTube channel.


Sources
Sources

From Part 02
From Part 04