Gen Z’s favorite food reviewer Keith Lee shared his opinion on Kevin Hart’s vegan food
Earlier this year, YPulse told you how Keith Lee’s honest food reviews generated enormous amounts of love from both viewers and restaurants who praised the creator for driving customers back to their establishments. Each of his reviews receive millions of views and his approval of a restaurant can change the owners’ lives overnight, which prompted comedian and actor Kevin Hart to approach Lee and ask him to review vegan dishes from the star’s restaurant Hart House. Although Lee admitted he’s not a huge fan of vegan cuisine (like most Gen Z), he said he was completely shocked by how delicious it was. Lee’s review instantly received over 16M views and commenters clearly trust his opinion: one commented, “We all know how honest you are ✊🏿 I’m definitely going!” His viewers appreciate Lee for being honest with his review, (while he loved the vegan “chicken,” he rated the sauces poorly) instead of automatically giving it a good rating because the owner was a celebrity.
YPulse’s trend report, The End of Foodie Culture (As We Know It), shows that Gen Z are less likely to consider themselves foodies than Millennials, and less interested in foodie content on social media, but those like Lee, who find their niche and take a new approach to food content, are finding success. The wholesome creator first went viral after visiting small businesses in the Vegas area who were struggling since the pandemic. By giving honest ratings and reviews that viewers trust, crowds have been seen lining up outside the doors of several small businesses ever since; including Southern Taste Seafood, a Las Vegas-based food truck that Lee’s fans were able to collectively raise over $30K for (in just 24 hours) after his review received over 6M views. YPulse research also shows young consumers trust influencers for recommendations the most and nearly a quarter of Gen Z and Millennials say restaurant menus curated by celebrities are cool.
Young people are meme-ing Spirit Airlines’ “unbothered energy”
Amongst young travelers, Spirit Airlines has developed a reputation as one of the more “carefree” air travel options available. And with a new TikTok audio trend, the airline is making its rounds on the app with some creators expressing their love and others making light-hearted jabs at the “chaos” of their Spirit flights. Users are posting videos with the trending audio from user Vanessa Sirias which has been used in over 41K videos: the sound starts with “a soft, vibe-y cover of the popular bolero ‘Bésame Mucho’ but is abruptly interrupted by the sound of a vehicle cruising by blasting the Latin rap hit ‘Delincuente’ by Tokischa featuring Anuel AA and Ñengo Flow.” Users are equating Spirit Airlines with the “unbothered” and fun vibe of the car going by in the audio. For example, one TikToker who filmed themselves looking out the window of a plane used the audio and captioned the video, “When American has delayed the flight due to a storm, but you see Spirit Airlines taking off” and commentors wrote things like, “spirit airlines doesn’t gaf.”
The video has 2.1M likes and over 9K comments, so it’s debatable if this new meme is actually good exposure for the airline’s brand, as it is essentially saying joking that Spirit isn’t a safety-first airline. But other comments on that TikTok reveal that young travelers don’t actually stay away from Spirit: one comment with 27K likes of it’s own reads, “People making jokes on Spirit Airlines but besides the comfort of the seats it gets to the destination and is usually 20-30min early somehow.” And under the hashtag #SpiritAirlines (781M views), while many videos are critical of their bag policies and joke about a penchant for turbulence, it’s clear the affordable price of their flights keeps young travelers booking with them again and again. And price is really what matters to young travelers: YPulse’s Travel report data shows that over half of young consumers say they rely on travel content from influencers to save money when they travel.
This week on TikTok: The “Cupid” dance shows K-pop is definitely mainstream now
TikTok is rooted in viral dance videos—and although the Gen Z-loved platform’s content has evolved into an array of memes, news, hacks, and viral trends, popular audios still often get their own accompanying dance. Recently, the “Cupid” dance has been going viral on the app, which is aptly set to the song “Cupid” by K-pop girl group Fifty Fifty. Audios of the song have been uploaded by several accounts, but one popular upload alone has been used in 7M videos.
The trend originated on a TikTok dance tutorial page called @tutordancetiktok, which breaks down popular dances, and creates new ones, and teaches users how to perform them. The dance steps are relatively simple—which is why it’s taken a hold of so many users—and include making a breaking a heart with your hands, hugging yourself, and mimicking shooting an arrow like Cupid himself. The catchy beat has been the subject of fan edits and random memes as well, but the song’s easy choreography has contributed to the dance trend’s widespread love, which has also been helping Fifty Fifty gain a larger audience.
The group, consisting of four members (Sio, Saena, Aran, and Keena), first debuted in November 2022 and quickly achieved success with “Cupid,” becoming the fastest K-pop band to chart in the U.S. While they currently have a limited musical output, their early viralness hints at more to come. Plus, K-pop music in general is finally considered mainstream in the U.S. and after all, YPulse’s Music report shows 69% of Gen Z and Millennials say they enjoy music from other countries and 58% say they enjoy music in languages they don’t speak.
Links We’re Passing:
Music: Even though their members are enrolling in the military, BTS is still putting out new content for their fans
Movies: The first reviews of The Little Mermaid are here, and it’s clear Halle Bailey is shining the way trailer viewers anticipated
Working out: Peloton is recalling more than 2M bikes for fall and injury risks
TV: Netflix took a new approach to the Bridgerton storyline with the addition of Queen Charlotte