ConAgra Foods has partnered with online community TheMotherhood.com to launch "Cooking Connections," described as the first blogger-hosted virtual cooking school.
The eight-week series of live blogging classes and discussions will be hosted on TheMotherhood.com, which connects brands (including Tropicana, American Eagle, Verizon, Clorox and Marriott, as well as ConAgra) with mothers through platforms such as live weekly "talks" co-hosted by mom bloggers.
The classes, which will be cross-posted live on Twitter and Facebook, will run weekly between Jan. 28 and March 16, and are open to all parents who use social media. Participants will be encouraged to share their cooking experiences with the Cooking Connections community through Flickr, as well as Twitter and Facebook.
For participants who miss live classes, the sessions will remain available as text-based blog posts on TheMotherhood.com and ConAgrafoods.com, with class video content posted on Facebook, YouTube and other multimedia channels. In addition, a student hand guide offering recipes and other content, social media links and discussion opportunities, class schedules (with built-in email reminders), blog posts and recommended RSS feeds will be accessible at any time at TheMotherhood.com/CookingConnections.
Celebrity chef/ConAgra spokesperson George Duran will host the first class on Jan. 28 during Blissdom, the women's blogging conference, with an interactive cooking demonstration between attendees and at-home participants. The other classes will be hosted by topic-relevant bloggers from TheMotherhood.com community. Hosts will prepare recipes and drive conversations across the Web.
The initiative reflects two key trends, reports ConAgra. A recent BabyCenter survey showed that 81% of mothers use the Internet to find new recipes and foods, and 77% agree that the Net is the number one source for recipes. In addition, mothers consider family dinner time a key priority: 90% say their families eat dinner together several times per week.
"Cooking Connections is a place for parents to connect online while learning that mealtime preparation can be simple, social and filled with creative twists," sums up Cooper Munroe, co-founder of TheMotherhood.com.