The democratisation of creativity

On 24 November, the Food24 and McCain digital-to-print, personalised cookbook developed by Swipe iX, went live. In a first for South Africa, this brand and media partnership has created a bespoke digital tool that incorporates print on demand processes and dynamics to create an ordering system that caters to unique user generated content.

Available on Food24, the digital tool guides you on the uploading of six of your own family recipes, complete with pictures or notes. It then prompts you to choose five categories from the Food24 spectrum, receiving six recipes from each. An additional six of Food24’s most popular recipes are also automatically included, as are six McCain recipes that have been specially formulated for this project. You personalise the name of the book, provide a delivery address and off it disappears into the ether to reappear in solid format at your door.

Says Natalie Wilson, Head of Food at New Media: “Swipe iX emphasised that keeping the user experience intuitive and simple would be key. The process of creating your own cookbook needed to follow a logical progression and be as seamless and user friendly as possible to ensure users were able to build their books from start to finish in a single sitting.”

“We’re a family owned brand that cherish the opportunity for us to connect over food and maintain our sense of family and community as we venture into the future,” says Danielle de Villiers, the Senior Brand Manager at McCain: “2020 may be the Year of the Pandemic, but it was also the Year of Home Cooking. We’ve partnered with Food24 on this project as they had the tech and know-how to create a unique product that can be kept by families and friends for years and years to come, creating new memories while cherishing old ones.”

“The personal nature of digital engagement allows end users unprecedented control over highly customisable and curated print products to be produced to each individual’s unique needs,” says Henri Lategan, COO of Swipe iX. “This opportunity for allowing anybody to take the creation experience into their own hands, instead of leaving it to a highly specialised few, truly democratises creativity in the physical realm in a way never before possible.”

Specific challenges that were overcome included experience design that would work as easily and effortlessly on mobile devices as it would on larger desktop interfaces. Complicated drag and drop functionality or requiring multiple actions to be completed on a single page would make for a cumbersome workflow. To resolve this, Swipe iX designed the entire experience from a mobile first perspective, ensuring that every step would work as well on the smallest of screens.

“While existing off the shelf tools were available in part, none of the options appeared to meet the exact requirements we had,” says Lategan. “With the unique challenges we identified, we needed to build a system that provided equally unique solutions. Our team of full stack developers, product strategists and usability experts created this bespoke, technology agnostic platform in under three months.”

From payment to ordering, tracking, discounting to book design, printing and delivery, each component part of the system blends effortlessly with one another in order to make the end user journey simple, all the while providing the robust tools necessary to admin users for managing the end to end workflow.

Says Lategan: “All in all, the platform consists of three primary subsystems and five third party integrations that are managed between five different sets of business stakeholders.”

“Food24 has grown during 2020 as more and more people started cooking from home,” says Wilson. “These home-grown, family recipes are priceless and we wanted to help people to continue being able to connect over food and in that, to maintain a sense of family and community by giving them the freedom to create their own, personalised cookbook. We’re a culture that loves food, with a plethora of extremely talented home cooks ‐ more than ever over the last few months. We hope that this is something that is hugely enjoyed by the Food24 community and by anyone who receives the end product as a gift.”

The cherry on top

Food24 and McCain Foods are giving away 2,500 FREE personalised cookbooks. All you need to do is buy two McCain products and WhatsApp a photo of your till slip to 066 412 1584 to enter.  For those who want to create a number of cookbooks for different loved ones, the digital tool will allow you to create individual personalised cookbooks at a cost of R400 per book. All details can be found at