Whirlpool Lays Off Entire Team for Cooking and Recipe App Yummly

Appliance giant Whirlpool has let its entire Yummly team go. According to industry sources, the company recently laid off all the employees for the recipe and cooking app and website. These sources tell the Spoon that it’s unclear what the company plans to do with the property it acquired in 2017.

The news of the layoffs marks a significant de-emphasis on creating a connected cooking experience tailored around custom-designed recipes with step-by-step cooking.

“Every day, millions of consumers around the world use Whirlpool Corporation appliances to prepare meals for their families. The Yummly acquisition will allow these consumers to dramatically reduce the stress from meal planning by helping answer the age-old question, ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’” the company said at the time of the acquisition.

After Whirlpool acquired Yummly, it beefed up the content team and hired content creators to build a recipe catalog with cooking guidance. It also added features such as built-in food image recognition capabilities and put out a Yummly-connected thermometer (which is still available for purchase). The company announced an update with new features as recently as last fall.

The move to let the Yummly team go is indicative of appliance brands de-emphasizing apps with human-powered editorial-driven content, especially as some start to investigate how they can leverage generative AI to power new features and content. The Spoon has heard rumblings that other appliance brands are starting to build generative AI-powered content libraries and consumer-facing UI with mixed results. My guess is this trend will only continue, even as appliances begin to revisit their smart appliance strategies after lessons from the first wave of product build-out.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.