The Vice and Fremantle Media co-owned food website Munchies is branching off from the digital realm yet again and will be launching a large food hall in Meadowlands, New Jersey.
The publisher is partnering with the developer Triple Five Group to build a food court in the 3 million-square-foot shopping and entertainment complex known as the American Dream.
The Munchies food hall is expected to open by the spring of 2019 and the team at Munchies will be hand-picking the vendors that " represent the publisher’s sensibility and deliver something that feels appropriate to the food hall’s setting," writes "Digiday."
Munchies co-founder and publisher John Martin said that like most other food courts, this one will offer a variety of culinary options.
“I don’t want this to be really self-indulgent,” said Martin to "Digiday." “If you’re going to do a food court, there are certain things you need. You should have sandwiches. You should have pizza.”
Malls and entertainment complexes have struggled to keep up with e-commerce retail giants.
With that in mind, mall operators are being much more selective with leasing partners. They want brands and interactive experiences that will bring in crowds. The retail stores aren't enough anymore because consumers can just go on Amazon and get what they need and it will arrive at their doorstep in two days.
"As U.S. malls have begun to feel the crunch, they are beginning to see the value in brands driving foot traffic to their spaces," said Karina Masolova, the executive editor of The Licensing Letter to "Digiday."
Will Munchies food hall bring in traffic?
Munchies has focused on other revenue streams besides making money off the website's ad space and it has paid off. Digital ad revenue used to make up 100 percent of Munchies revenue, but now it only makes up 25 percent.
The food-focused publisher has already published a cookbook "Chef’s Night Out" and will be releasing two more in the next year. Before the meal kit company Chef'd shut down in July, Munchies partnered with the meal kit delivery service on a series of meal kits.
Munchies is also producing shows and content for Viceland behind the scenes.
Learn more about Munchie's latest venture at "DigiDay."
Food courts and food trucks parks continue to pop up across the country the last few years. Check out this food truck park in San Fran.