Social media has definitely changed the way all of us view food. Restaurants have evolved their lighting to better serve Instagram foodies. Millennials purchase tiny lights to illuminate their meals and desserts so they are camera ready. Pinterest, with its 15 billion pins, has reported an 86% increase in food engagement and a 25% increase in food pins over the prior year. A simple search of #food on Google will net you over 5 billion results. YouTube boasts over 71 million videos centered on food and Tasty videos have garnered over 2.7 million subscribers.
Driving forces behind this trend are food influencers who can be anything from the every-day mom to celebrity chefs. Tapping into the creativity of influencers and leveraging their knowledge of current food trends can be a huge win for CPG brands.
Where do influencers find their inspiration?
We asked 600 influencers what inspired them; 81.4% said they actively search social for ideas.
• 86% on Pinterest
• 28% on Instagram
• 25% on Facebook
Only 2% find inspiration on Twitter and even less was reported from TV or print/magazine. Social is the driving force when it comes to inspiration.
What are four of influencer’s favorite trends?
1. Unicornacopia of food content
Long before Starbucks created their insta-hit Unicorn Frappuccino, unicorn-inspired content was filling the internet. Everything from unicornollis to rainbow toast … just ensure the food is sparkly and fun.
2. Anything in a bowl
Killer photography is key to social content and never more important than with influencer content because food just photographs and looks better in a bowl.
3. The color purple
Not only does purple food tend to be healthier, it’s a favorite of influencers. And styled and lit properly, the color enhances the photography of everything from figs to potatoes and, of course, purple cauliflower.
Sure charcoal and grilling season go hand in hand but charcoal goes beyond its use as fuel for outdoor cooking. This charcoal is the result of burning coconut shells or other plant materials and using the byproduct to create “black” food. Activated charcoal is supposedly an aid to helping the body get rid of unwanted toxins. Charcoal noodles, waffles and charcoal buns for sliders are all food for thought with instagrammers.
Food content with recipes outperforms content without a recipe.
We measured 500+ influencer campaigns across 30+ retailers between January and December 2016. Over the course of the year, we published over 17,000 influencer blog posts that generated over 42 million+ content views and 9 million+ social engagements and discovered that recipes fuel engagement performance 1.7 times versus blog posts without recipes
Consumers spend a tremendous amount of time with food content.
On average, we see time spent with food content on average around the 2-minutes, 18 second-mark. This is a tremendous amount of time when compared to the amount of time spent with other digital content.
And there is a 6% increase in average time spent on content leading into the holiday season. Surprisingly, Q3 and Q4, which are the noisiest seasons, typically see higher engagement and attention metrics.
There is no doubt that Americans certainly have an appetite for anything food-related.