When Hannah Williams departed for maternity leave in 2016, she left a job she felt comfortable with, and an industry she understood. However, on returning a year later, Williams, BBC Good Food’s Head of Digital Content, was thrust into a “world of panic” when told by her manager to develop a voice strategy for the Immediate Media publication.

Her well-meaning boss was quoting the now-infamous prediction that 50% of all online searches will be carried out through spoken word by 2020 – attributed, variously, to Baidu’s Chief Scientist Andrew Ng, technology trends guru Mary Meeker and comScore. Yet, having initially viewed voice as a “risk” to be mitigated, Williams began to spy an opportunity, not least as a Voicebot study found that 41% of smart speaker owners keep their devices in the kitchen.