Hey, this is Jamie here to recap this year – and to be honest, it’s hard to know how to sum up a year like 2021… Much like last year, it’s been filled with an overwhelming sense of anxiety and not knowing what’s around the corner. But for those same reasons, it’s also made me pay more attention to the beaming lights of positivity that illuminate the world around me and make everything feel so much better.
And without wanting to sound too cheesy, so much of that positivity is brought about by the corner of the internet inhabited by our friendship group – the SORTEDfood community. Whilst many of us have spent the year in a state of flux between lockdowns, travel restrictions, being away from friends/family, illnesses and countless other obstacles, somehow this group of friends always manages to put a smile back on my face… and I know I’m not alone in feeling this.
What’s more remarkable is that it feels like the obstacles that have been in our way have actually only made our community bigger and stronger than ever before – and the data backs this up. With 130 million views on our videos on YouTube this year, you’ve watched SORTEDfood content for a total of 22.7 million hours, or to put it more plainly, 2,600 YEARS worth of our content has been consumed. But it’s not just ‘watching’ – you also liked the videos 3.6 million times and commented 188,000 times too!
Away from the numbers, there were a whole series of highs and lows on the YouTube channel this year – from saying ‘so long’ to James as he moved on to a ‘real’ job, to welcoming tonnes of new friends, guests and experts into the studio to expand our cooking knowledge. Thousands of us came together (twice!) to experience the chaos of Pass It On LIVE, we managed to persuade a Hollywood celebrity to join us in the kitchen for a video and raise thousands of pounds for a fantastic charity, and we continued upon this journey of self-improvement by squabbling over ‘chef skills’ badges throughout the year.
But we haven’t been the only ones improving – we’ve seen tens of thousands of people around the world join the Meal Packs app and use it to plan their meals and expand their dinner horizons. In total, there were over 250,000 Meal Packs downloaded through the app and they were cooked over 325,000 times… When you work it out, that means more than 2 million dinners were served up using Meal Packs this year. That is truly unbelievable, and a real sign of how much impact this community can have on helping people eat better dinners, save money and reduce their food waste.
More than ever, this ‘movement’ that we have all created deserves proper support – so we’ve spent a lot of time this year investing in growing our team to bring in true experts who can build an infrastructure around Meal Packs to secure its future as a real life-changing tool. There are some incredibly exciting plans for Meal Packs over the next few months, and I can’t wait to start sharing them with you very very soon.
Looking ahead to 2022, there is so much of our world that still seems uncertain, or out of our control. But going through this exercise of writing this post, I’ve realised that when you look closer and see what we’re all capable of achieving when we work together, there is so much to look forward to.
From all of us on the SORTEDfood team, I wish you and your’s all the best for the New Year, and can’t wait to see what we can all achieve together in 2022.