Trend Perspectives by Cynthia Maxwell

I just made Flax Chia Pancakes today from a recipe I found on Pinterest only 30 minutes before cooking them. There are over 1.7 billion recipes on Pinterest!

• Millennials use Pinterest just as much as they use Instagram.
• The highest number of users on Pinterest is mothers at 80%.
• 87% of pinners purchase products because of Pinterest
• The top categories men search on Pinterest are food, drink, and technology (omnicoreagency.com)

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So even though art and hobbies are the top categories pinned on Pinterest, we could conclude that with over 1.7 billion recipes, Pinterest impacts food purchases. I have not even addressed Instagram stats yet!

The role social media plays in food and drink categories is, for lack of better words, HUGE! Top Chefs in the United States are even searching Instagram for the latest and greatest next big food. The whole food service industry has to focus on consistently satisfying more adventurous consumers that expect their food and beverages to be ‘post-worthy’.

Beverages are trendier than ever before….

Coffee is so exciting on social media; even a non-coffee drinker can be romanced into trying some coffee beverage. The cold brew coffee section in the supermarket is just that, a section! You will also see coffee added to plant-based protein drinks in the ever-growing refrigerated health-focused drinks section. The increase in coffee products did not just happen organically or by word of mouth. Most likely, it is because there were nearly 36 million mentions in the U.S on Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter in 2018. This data is based on an in-depth analysis of how big coffee is on social media, by social intelligence company Brandwatch. The most discussed coffee drink in the U.S. was a Latte.

RELATED: Plant-Based Proteins of the Past, Present and Future

On the flip side of this caffeinated trend is a rise in the consumer’s desire to lower and even eliminate caffeine. What?! Yes, so now matcha latte, turmeric latte, beetroot latte, and golden milk photos are dominating Instagram at over 200K posts and growing. Maybe this is why we now see convenient plant-based, powdered versions of these lattes in the healthier sections of the supermarket.

Speaking of plant-based…

With health and wellness as one of the top consumer trends for many years now, social media has and will continue to have an impact on the diet, skincare, and the environmental impact choices of this trend. Who has not heard of celery juicing, Buddha bowls, and Keto? I see daily Facebook posts about celery juice! The celery juice diet is the result of consumer demand on this vegetable. “Season-to-date celery shipments from United States growing areas through March 30th of this year were up 5% compared with a year ago, according to USDA”—Tom Karst (thepacker.com)

Will social media tempt consumers to eat more vegetables?

Social media users love the bold colored vegetable photos on Instagram and desire their home-cooked meals to look the same. Love Beets plays right into this with its ready-to-eat variety of beets with flavors combinations. They look just as good on the shelf as consumers see them on social media. Most importantly, they taste good.

Remember when veggie noodles replaced pasta in a ton of food posts on Instagram? CeCe’s Veggie Co. jumped right on the veggie noodle trend with zucchini, sweet potato, beet and butternut squash noodles spiralized for convenience. Not everyone has time to use a spiralizer right? CeCe’s even adds that these noodles “add bright fun color to your meal!” That’s just what we want.

There are so many more examples of how social media impacts food and beverage trends, but in closing I will leave you with these final Instagram stats:

• There Are 500 Million+ Insta Accounts Active Every Day (Jumper Media)
• 60% of users first heard about a product on Instagram (Jumper Media)

As of May 2019, the top three most Instagrammed foods in the world were:
• Pizza in New York @ 37,900,000 posts
• The Hamburger in Texas @ 35,000,000 posts
• Sushi in Tokyo @ 23,600,000 posts

Finally…
• North America accounts for 63% food post sharing on Instagram
• 83 million hashtagged pictures in the U.S. with either Pizza, Hamburger or Steak (cooknst.com)

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Images courtesy of Instagram (@restlessvilma and @lovebeets).

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