How the Pinch of Nom team changed the recipe game
Many Britons bemoan the decline of community spirit, but perhaps we’re just looking in the wrong place. After all, it might not be pubs and social clubs where communities thrive in the 21st century, but on the internet instead.
Mega-selling book Pinch of Nom, aimed at those wanting to be healthier while also counting calories, is a fine case in point. Pals Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone ran a popular Wirral restaurant, before launching a recipe-based Facebook group, Pinch of Nom, in 2015. So successful did the group become that the site would frequently crash. A book was inevitable. Pinch of Nom hit shelves earlier this year, becoming the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever.
And the key to Nom’s success? Taking requests. A group member would ask Kate and Kay if they could recreate a version of, say, a chain-restaurant favourite, and the answer was always invariably “yes”.
Kate explains, “We’ve always given our community what they want, which sounds odd. Especially in the early days, we’d ask them what recipes they wanted and we’d give it to them. It sounds so bizarre, but that’s exactly what we’ve always done.
“The No1 thing we’d hear for such a long time was, ‘please make a book, please make a book.’ So we went away and made a book.”
And that book would sell more than 200,000 copies in its first week. Most authors are doing cartwheels if they can reach five-figure sales; six is dreamland. Kate was astonished by the success.
“So many people are alone and where they don’t have that emotional support it’s great that we can provide a space. Especially on our Facebook group, where people can go and feel supported. Also, with these recipes, when people think of being on a diet they think it’s really boring food that makes you feel like you’re watching what you eat. With our recipes, we made most of them so they can be enjoyed with the family.”
Given the record-shattering success of Pinch of Nom, a follow-up book was a must. Pinch of Nom Food Planner followed, with a new recipe book out for Christmas.
Of the planner, Kate says: “It’s not a recipe book, as such. There are 26 recipes in there, but it has a dual purpose. You can plan next week’s meals and log what you’ve eaten. A lot of people like to do that to keep their health on track as you can plan ahead and make shopping lists. It allows you to refer back, and it also gives you prompts every day, such as ‘drink more water’, ‘how many treats have you had today?’; it just reminds you of those little things you forget to do day-to-day.
“It’s such an honour to give folks what they’ve been asking for for so long.”