NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- While much of the buzz around iPads has focused on publishers and their digital magazines, one of the few brand apps on the market sounds like a publishing project, too.
Kraft Foods wowed the iPhone-toting masses with iFood Assistant, one of the first brand apps to actually deliver utility on the smartphone, and now the food marketer is following suit with its first app for Apple's iPad. With the new app, Big Fork Little Fork, Kraft is going after young parents and children to educate them about healthful eating.
Kraft hopes the U.S.-only app will fill a need among parents in their 20s and 30s of children from 6 to 12 for information on feeding families and healthful eating for kids. In a proprietary Google study, Kraft found that there were 37 million web searches conducted on family and kids food.
"There were no specific resources for where parents can go for this knowledge," said Ed Kaczmarek, director-innovation, consumer experiences at Kraft Foods. "So we create the content and wrap it around this interactive experience. Like we did with iFood Assistant, we're trying to provide utility, and the Kraft branding comes secondary."
The app was available on Friday for $1.99, what Mr. Kaczmarek calls standard pricing for iPad apps, and will be marketed through Kraft online and mobile channels for now.
Kraft built the app with Meredith Integrated Marketing, the broadcaster and publisher's marketing services arm, and Hyperfactory, the mobile agency behind the iFood Assistant that Meredith owns a strategic stake in. The publisher was integral in planning the content plan for Big Fork, which will refresh content periodically. Kraft Foods has partnered with celebrity chefs, such as "Top Chef Masters" winner Marcus Samuelsson, to develop "content packs" for in-app purchase. Mr. Samuelsson will share his global perspective on food and flavors for new ideas to kids' meals.
"What we gained from our partnership with Meredith is their experience across many magazines and digital assets," which includes access to talent with experience at parenting magazines, Mr. Kaczmarek said.
While the iFood Assistant was more focused on pocket utility, the iPad provides a wider canvas, which will include how-to videos, educational games and basic skills for kids in the kitchen, as well as recipes.
Kraft, with Meredith, has created content specifically for this platform. To compare, iFood used recipes from Kraft's kitchen.
"IPad lends itself to brand content if content makes sense for that brand," said Derek Handley co-founder and CEO of Hyperfactory. "It's different from business as usual. It's the intersection of new-content development, product development and designing the user interface and how the consumer interacts."
As for the laser-tight parents and kids audience, Mr. Kaczmarek is betting that young parents are indeed on iPads, as user data is not yet available for such a new platform.
"We have to take a leap of faith," he said. "If we waited around to have hard demographics and numbers, we wouldn't be innovating. As we took the leap of faith with the iFood Assistant and iPhone, we're taking that leap on the iPad."