Food and Grocery: Can Your Team Succeed in The Branded Podcast Space?

An opportunity missed by countless content marketers.

Updated July, 2022

Let’s cut right to the chase…

The grocery industry — which happens to be worth 742 billion in the US alone — is virtually absent from the spoken audio space.

What’s more, a number of the grocery giants that have dipped into corporate podcast production have stopped releasing content, or never managed to hit the charts.

The content gap we see here is particularly curious given how much we (as a species) care about, rely on, and show interest in food.

While gastronomy content explodes on YouTube, Social Media, streaming services, and channels like the Food Network, most major grocers have overlooked the audio space.

Does this mean that food-focused podcasts simply don’t work? We don’t think so. Our social and cultural fixation on food extends well into spoken audio — and the proof is in the pudding.

Several major brands, including BBC, David’s Tea, and America’s Test Kitchen, have found extraordinary success in the podcast space.

This is simply a medium most big grocers are sleeping on, barring a select few that are determined to bring their A game, and well ahead of the curve.

To give you a better sense of what’s happening in this space, let’s take a closer look at the shows that major grocers have released to date.

Branded podcasts from global grocery giants

When we’ve explored other industries (like marketing and tech), we’ve been able to share a roundup of many branded shows that have hit the podcast charts…

But when it comes to the grocery biz, we’re looking at less than a handful.

Bearing this in mind, we’re going to share a rundown of several podcasts from grocery’s biggest players — whether they’ve managed to hit the charts or not.


Inside Trader Joe’s by Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is miles ahead of its competition when it comes to branded audio, and after several dozen episodes, this US grocer continues to hold its own on the food charts.

This branded series is unique in the fact that it focuses on all things Trader Joe’s, in contrast to a show like The Sound Bath from Lush, which takes an outward facing approach.

But TJ’s has clearly amassed enough of a following to focus on everything from their packaging, to their workplace culture, to their latest products — all while attracting and retaining a loyal audience for their show.

As we write, Inside Trader Joe’s features 52 episodes and a lister rating of 4.8 stars on Apple Podcasts.

When it comes to the Food Charts, it holds spot #18 in the United States and #189 in Canada (where Trader Joe’s has yet to open a shop).

Dish by Waitrose & Partners

Hosted by DJ Nick Grimshaw and Michelin-star chef Angela Hartnett, Dish takes a deep dive into all things food, drink, and entertainment.

The hosts are joined by a new guest in every episode, and together, they all hit the kitchen to whip something up.

The result? A warm, casual, and inviting sound experience that fosters the same vibe as a friendly dinner party, or family cook off.

Over a century old, the Waitrose brand boasts more than 300 supermarkets across the United Kingdom.

As we write, Dish features only 8 episodes, but has secured a 5-star listener rating on Apple Podcasts. 

This innovative new show currently holds spot #1 on the UK Food Chart, spot #4 in Canada, and spot #39 in the US. It also appears on several other charts.

Unwasted: The Podcast by Imperfect Foods 

This ecocentric series was designed to help its listeners live “less wasteful, more meaningful lives” by way of their diet and food.

With the help of expert guests, it covers topics ranging from plant-based dairy, to food allergies, to earth-friendly meal plans.

The founding brand, Imperfect Foods is a grocery delivery service with a focus on products that would otherwise go to waste.

As we write, Unwasted features 59 episodes, but has a listener rating of 4.8 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

Unwasted has appeared on the Apple Podcast Food Charts for countries including the United States, Israel, and South Africa.

Publix Stories by Publix 

Backed by one of the United States’ best known retailers, this podcast is brand focused — much like the massively successful series from Trader Joe’s.

During its one-year run, Publix Stories explored topics including the brand’s philanthropic efforts, holiday ad campaigns, and origin story.

Today, Publix boasts over 1200 locations across the Southeastern US.

This series, which appears to have wrapped in 2020, features 12 episodes and a listener rating of 4.9 stars on Apple Podcasts.

Here’s the Scoop by Loblaw

Hosted by food writer Pay Chen, this is a series made for the foodie in all of us.

Episodes explore culinary curiosities, like the age-old battle over pineapple on pizza, and the true impact of viral food trends.

The founding brand is among Canada’s most successful food retailers, and has more than 2400 stores peppered across the country.

As we write, Here’s the Scoop features just 8 episodes, but has a stellar 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts.

What does it take to make a top-performing food show?

While grocery brands are conspicuously absent from the spoken audio realm, and even more sparse on the podcast charts, plenty of food-focused shows find great success.

To give you a better sense of culinary content that outshines the rest of this niche, we’re going to take a look at food’s top performing shows.

For these purposes, we’re drawing from the latest data included on the Chartable roundup of food shows for Apple Podcasts, US.

#1: Gastropod

While this long-running series is focused on food, it also throws science and history into the mix — a move which has helped it appeal to a wide array of fans.

Guided by hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, Gastropod covers topics like the future of food, plant-based meats, and how our diets impact our planet.

As we write, this hit series features 181 episodes and a listener rating of 4.8 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

#2: Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio

Guided by celebrity chef and America’s Test Kitchen founder Christopher Kimball, Milk Street Radio explores how food impacts culture, and our lives.

Episodes take listeners from Korea, to Mexico, and beyond, all with the help of guests and culinary superstars like Nigella Lawson and David Chang.

As we write, this hit series features a whopping 304 episodes and a listener rating of 4.2 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

#3: The Splendid Table

Debuted by American Public Media in 2005, The Splendid Table aims to “connect people through the common language of food and eating.”

A true ode to foodies everywhere, it dives into topics including vegetarian cooking, the art of seafood, and how we can rescue endangered ingredients.

As we write, this hit series features over 700 episodes and a listener rating of 4.5 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

#4: A Hot Dog Is a Sandwich

Guided by hosts Josh Scherer and Nicole Enayati, this series is all about controversy, and explores several “culinary quandaries” that pop up online.

Episodes compare tacos and burritos, Bagel Bites and Pizza Rolls, and french fries and onion rings — sparking fun and friendly debate just about anyone can get in on.

As we write, this hit series features 114 episodes and a listener rating of 4.7 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

#5: Recipe Club

With host and Michelin Star chef David Chang (also known for Ugly Delicious and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on Netflix), Recipe Club is making big waves in gastro audio.

This series is all about recipe optimization, and each week Chang is joined by other culinary pros, as they explore top-performing recipes, and how to improve them.

As we write, this series features 47 episodes and an exceptional 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts. 

#6: The One Recipe

Hosted by Jesse Sparks, Senior Editor at Eater, this show was designed to help listeners grow their own cooking repertoires.

In each episode, Sparks is joined by a guest. Together, the pair talk all things food, and whip up an all-time favorite dish.

As we write, this hit series features just 22 episodes, but has earned a listener rating of 4.7 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

#7: The Sporkful

This out-of-the-box show guides listeners through an exploration of food, and the people that eat it.

Never too serious, it features a number of outlandish episodes with titles like “How to Read a Taco Like a Book,” “Are Shallots Bull$#!t?” and “Lunchtime with The Simpsons.”

As we write, this series features 40 episodes, and a listener rating of 4.5 stars on Apple Podcasts. 

#8: Be My Guest with Ina Garten

Hosted by one of television’s most loved chefs, Be My Guest is recorded in Garten’s home, where guests join her for “good food and great conversations.”

Episodes feature recipes that are tasty and approachable, like Watermelon Cosmopolitans, Banana Crunch Muffins, and Halibut with Herbed Butter.

As we write, this new series features just 6 episodes, but boasts a killer 5-star listener rating on Apple Podcasts. 

#9: Dudes Behind the Foods 

In this aptly named show, food enthusiasts and entertainers Tim Chantarangsu and David So explore the latest in celebrity gossip, their own lives, and all things food and dining out.

Unafraid to stir the pot, this series dives into everything from LA’s best restaurants, to “the friend zone,” to the Will Smith-Chris Rock fiasco.

And apparently, in the case of this podcast, controversy works.

As we write, this hit show features 38 episodes, and a 5-star listener rating on Apple Podcasts. 

#10: Borderline Salty 

Hosted by Carla Lalli Music and Rick Martinez, this hit series was created to make its listeners “better, smarter, happier cooks.”

Episodes cover topics ranging from the latest viral food trends, to caring for cast iron, to the scoop on the perfect salsa verde.

As we write, this new series features just 16 episodes, but has secured a 5-star listener rating on Apple Podcasts. 

A world of possibility

If you’re feeling inspired by this review, and want to hit the charts with your own branded podcast, there’s one thing you should keep in mind…

With an industry as broad as grocery, comes endless possibilities.

There are countless niches your brand might step into — from home cooking, to nutrition, to building a food budget.

This also means there are several categories you might aspire to dominate.

Your brand may choose to target any number of charts, including…

  • Home and garden

  • Business

  • Nutrition

  • Food

  • Arts & culture

  • Or tech

What angle is best for you?

If we’ve piqued your interest in corporate podcast production, you’re probably looking to get a better sense of your competitive angle, and the ideal concept for your show.

If so, JAR can help you dive deeper, and take a closer look at your brand’s potential with a competitive analysis from podcast pros, or a podcast ideation session at no charge.

If you’re ready to change the game for grocery in the audio space, don’t be afraid to reach out. We are always happy to help.

And in the meantime, you may want to explore these free resources…