TikTok is dominating consumer social media and continues to grow, with 1 billion users internationally, up from 54 million in 2018. With such an impressive reach, TikTok viral food products and recipes have the power to monumentally influence business and consumer purchasing.
TikTok’s content is predominantly made up of dancing, humour, education, and delicious food trends. Many of these food trends don’t require a chef and are often based on convenience, encouraging ‘beginners’ to try different tastes and ways of cooking.
I wanted to give a small insight illustrated with some key examples as to why these food trends are significant and how they can fundamentally influence brand and product awareness, search traffic and thus sales, often overnight…
- Little Moons Mochi
These soft, chewy Japanese gelato ice cream balls wrapped in ‘mochi’ (rice dumpling) launched in London in 2010, but it wasn’t until August 2020 when this viral TikTok trend caused sales to skyrocket. TikTokers discovered Little Moons after months of COVID-19 lockdown boredom, and, as TikTokers do, filmed the process of buying, unpackaging and trying the Japanese dessert treat. To their viewers’ delight, it soon became apparent these treats seemed new, exciting and delicious and more and more people wanted to try them, filming themselves doing so.
This is the beauty of TikTok trends; overnight, everybody wants to be included… The proof of the pudding (so to speak) with this trend was that Little Moons became almost impossible to get hold of. The supply was scarce in comparison to the hundreds of thousands that demanded them at that time. Tesco reported that this extreme social media traction generated a 700% boost in sales whilst Waitrose saw a 350% increase – impressive stuff.
- Salmon rice bowl
Emily Mariko’s salmon rice bowl was another… a creative way to savour your salmon and rice leftovers by mixing in spicey sriracha, soy sauce and kewpie mayonnaise, then wrapping up bitesize mouthfuls into seaweed thins. The supposed key ingredient to make this dish so significant was the kewpie mayo – a sweet Japanese mayo which contains only the yolk of an egg and vinegar. The phrase “kewpie mayo” has a reported 17.6 million views on TikTok. Before this TikTok craze, it was unheard of in the UK and again, almost impossible to get hold of. Amazon is even charging around £7 a bottle, capitalising on this trend.
- Cran-Raspberry juice
Nathan Apodaca (@420doggface208) is a certainly a man who can multi-task, as he films himself skateboarding while drinking Ocean Spray’s Cran-Raspberry juice and singing along to Fleetwood Mac’s legendary song, “Dreams”. The organic content generated an impressive 11% sales growth for Cran-Raspberry.
- The wrap hack
Quite probably the smartest way to make a wrap. Cutting a wrap from the middle to the edge, then filling each quadrant with ingredients, before folding it up into a neat triangle and then grilling it. The wrap hack has over 4 million Google search results and #wraphack has been viewed over 65 million times on TikTok, with the term “TikTok wrap” seeing a 2,300% boost in searches.
- The baked feta and tomato pasta
This is a relatively quick and simple recipe that involves baking a whole block of feta and a dish of cherry tomatoes and mixing them in with freshly cooked pasta. According to The Fresh Market Inc., sales of feta in their stores increased 45% after the feta pasta TikTok trend took off in January 2021.
Did you try any of these trends? Will you? What new TikTok food trends could 2022 bring? Will TikTok food trends continue to be an internet phenomenon? Could this new wave of experimental food see the end of picky eaters? We’ll have to wait and see!