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Simply Sensational from Sainsbury's!
Sainsburys The Magazine
Member Name: Snarflebat
Sainsburys The Magazine
Advantages: Reasonable price, variety of articles, fantastic recipes
Disadvantages: Only available at larger Sainsbury's stores, lots of adverts
Sainsbury's Magazine is the in-house glossy produced by Sainsbury's, one of the UK's largest retailers and it has this year received the accolade of winning Customer Magazine of the Year from the PPA awards for the third-time.
Selling around 300,000 copies a month, this gorgeous A4 glossy has definitely shaped up to be a rival to other lifestyle and foodie magazines in the market. Sold at check-outs of Sainsbury's stores for a reasonable £1.40, the magazine is published monthly and, I believe, appears to be targeted at young 30-somethings (although the magazine would be popular with people of all ages!) with a clear focus on food and recipes. Sainsbury's also produce a quarterly magazine, provided and posted free for Nectar loyalty card holders called 'Fresh Ideas' which covers similar style, food and drink features.
The magazine contains around 240-something pages of articles, features and adverts. I recently bought the December 2009 issue - Sainsbury's 200th Celebration Issue - with a beautiful Christmas theme for gifts and recipes.
The magazine is divided into sections, being:
- Good Food - a massive range of recipes, best-buys and food and drink features, all designed around the festive season and what is in season.
- Features - special articles on the theme of the magazine, the December 2009 copy focussing on gift-giving (and buying presents on a budget) and the history of festive celebrations.
- Good Living - beauty, fashion, travel and well-being articles
- For You - reader offers and competitions
- Issue staples - read letters, coupons and other offers
The magazine is definitely focussed toward recipes and food and drink articles. The recipes cover a wide range, for starters, main meals and desserts (together with specialist jam and chutneys), as well as drink and wine guides. In addition, the recipes range in terms of difficulty (with easy recipes for novice cooks - such as soups, salads and quick meals - as well as luxurious and impressive feature meals and even, in the December issue, full menus for Christmas dinner parties). I love trying out new recipes, particularly when ingredients are accessible and the instructions given so clearly, and I really enjoyed the Sainsbury's Magazine recipes (trying out homemade mince pies and vegetarian butternut, cheese and goat's cheese tartlets) - they were easy to follow, the gorgeous photos in the magazine gave me a fantastic impression of how they should turn out and - most importantly - they were delicious!
The recipes are - for me - what makes this magazine worthwhile. With Jamie Oliver as its own celebrity chef, there are a huge range of featured recipes from Jamie as well as other well-loved food writers and cehfs (such as Delia Smith, Nigel Slater and James Martin) as well as wine and drinks advice from much-loved writy Olly Smith. These really add a touch of class and variety to the recipes and add extra value, given how these rare, treat recipes from such celebreity writers can often cost a bomb as part of their own book collections!
The Magazine is cram-packed with adverts (as with any glossy) and again these have a good and drink focus, as well as some being for Sainsbury's food, drink and clothing promotions to coincide with in-store deals. I had not expected so many adverts (it feels like every other page is a promotion feature) but I did not find these too off-putting, as some of the adverts even have small, simple recipes and meal suggestions which are interesting.
In addition to the features, recipes and adverts(!), there are also a huge range of coupons and reader offers. The December issue has a dedicated page of coupons to provide £7.70 off your shop, on a range of 'essential' and useful products, as well as a 'buy one main meal, get another for £1' coupon for ASK restaurants, which I believe is good value for eating out. The Magazine also has a range of reader offers which gives discounts for spa treatments and other offers. As well as the coupons and offers, there are also reader giveaways (postcard-entry competitions) - with the December 2009 issue giving away absolutely loads of gifts to celebrate its 200th issue.
Overall, I love this magazine. I feel that, despite the numerous adverts and product promotions scattered throughout the magazine, it is really good value and is perfectly-targeted to those consumers who love reading about food and trying a wealth of new recipes. Gorgeously presented, this magazine definitely stacks up against all the usual, lifestyle and food glossies as being fantastic value for money, incredibly useful and an altogether glamorous (and now much-loved) addition to my coffee table magazine stack!
Summary: Monthly glossy from Sainsbury's with articles and a huge number of recipes to try.