We know the power that social media yields, from the ‘what colour is this dress?’, to the ‘what sound do you hear’ trends that blow up every few months, but there’s a new platform (or rather a revived one) that has dominated lockdown and looks set to continue its reign, and that is TikTok.
TikTok is famed for its 60-second dance routines, comedy and lip-syncing videos, but it has become an unlikely hub for foodies, connoisseurs and anyone hungry for a taste of the latest food hacks, trends and combinations. It’s a huge driver of sales and it’s food trend videos have seen supermarket shelves cleared of specific ingredients as videos gather pace and engagement. #FoodTikTok has 18.4 billion views, demonstrating just how much interest there is for this content on the platform.
What’s especially interesting about TikTok is the way it goes on to influence real-world purchasing – people are not just consuming this content, they’re clamouring to recreate it. The Baked Feta Pasta trend earlier this year saw a tangible spike, some even called it a shortage, across many stores in Finland and NYC.
@feelgoodfoodieBaked feta pasta with cherry tomatoes!! Recipe on blog • Inspired by @grilledcheesesocial 😘 #tiktokpartner #LearnOnTikTok #fetapasta #recipes
Beyond that, we’re seeing brands themselves flock to the app and also carry this influence out into their marketing, much like Coors did when they recreated the silhouette challenge.
What are some of the biggest TikTok food trends?
In just 20 something months, since the world closed down and we took to our phones, there have been a lot, but here are some of TikTok’s most viral foodie trends, would you try any?
- Baked Feta and Tomato pasta – this simple baked feta pasta dish has clocked up 971.2M views on its top hashtag
- Dalgona Coffee – the whipped caffeine treat, the hashtag for which has 510.4M views
- Crispy Potatoes – the humble spud is always a favourite, so it’s no surprise that these carb-focused hacks have 51.5M views
- Pink Drink – this summer cooler drink cleared shelves and has clocked up an amazing 286.9M views
- Pesto eggs – cooking your fave eggs in pesto is way up there now thanks to TikTok with an impressive 150M views
How can food brands make the most of TikTok?
Part of TikTok’s appeal seems to be the often less-polished versions of video content. You don’t need to invest in a load of equipment, a phone and a tripod will do! For food brands seeking to get into the top trends, it’s more about simple easy recipes than selling one specific product, the more organic it can feel the better.
A prime example of a brand who has used TikTok to raise brand awareness and boost sales nationwide is Little Moons. Viral videos of customers buying and reviewing their bite-sized Japanese ice cream treats have over 304.6M views on the app. Demand became so high, people were queuing in their hundreds just to get their hands on a box, causing multiple nationwide sellouts and boosting sales by over 2000%.
@littlemoonsmochiGoing to big Tesco in search of Little Moons. Join in! 😍 ##littlemoonsmochi ##littlemoons ##tesco ##fyp ##bigtesco ##viral♬ original sound – Little Moons
Consume some of the content for yourself, follow and like relevant accounts and interact. When you have something to share, it’s time to get creative. Is there a twist on an old favourite? A brand new concoction you’re desperate to share or can you supply a hack to create a quick win lunch for busy professionals?
Better yet, if you can have fun with a trending sound or dance with your product/s, then do it. Don’t take it too seriously and watch the views come rolling in.
If you want to pin down some of that engagement with a little more certainty, you can always research relevant content creators and consider a collaboration, naturally there are likely to be fees involved if you go down this route, but the trade off may well be worth it!
TikTok has shown us how much we all love food and we love nothing more than a tasty lunch video or a new and improved way to eat a firm favourite! So, get your thinking caps on and see how you can use it to connect with consumers – new and exisiting!