6 Instagrammable Trends Every Food Brand Should Know

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

What’s the next big thing in the land of neon signs and rainbow bagels? We found 6 trends that are filling young diners’ social media feeds…

Young diners are lining up around the block for restaurants serving up can’t-miss Instagram opportunities—even when the actual food is sub-par. Many restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating the social media-obsessed, they’re intentionally turning their places into “Instagram bait” to earn some free press, according to The Verge. And the trend doesn’t stop with milkshakes made for pics and cutesy design touches. In fact, some might be taking it a little too far. London’s Dirty Bones provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, which Grub Street reports consist of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (We can hear the Xers and Boomers cringing as we write.)

While brands need not go that far, Instagrammability continues to be a trend that should be top of mind, considering its undeniable impact on the food world and young consumers’ purchasing patterns. Consider this: YPulse found that 58% of Gen Z & Millennial social media users say that it’s at least somewhat important that the restaurants they visit look good in pics they post to social media, with 28% saying it’s “very” or “extremely” important. They feel almost equally as strong that the food they buy to be picture-perfect.

More often than not, the most Instagrammable food trends start with smaller brands, bloggers, and restaurants before being adopted by big names. Rainbow foods, and then unicorn toast, and noodles, and lattes, etc. were trending online for some time before Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccinos took over the internet. So, what will be the next neon sign or unicorn food of the restaurant world? Here are 6 new-to-the scene…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “The [financial] industry has been slow to adapt to the ways in which young people want to be communicated with and to communicate with each other.”—Ian Rosen, CEO, StockTwits (YPulse)

Instagram users can now purchase products without leaving the app. The platform’s shopping tags are evolving to allow users to check out directly inside the app from about 20 retailers using saved payment and shipping information. The move doesn’t just give Facebook a direct cut of each sale, but also allows the platform to collect data that they’ll leverage in their ad targeting. Instagram’s influence over young consumers’ purchases continues to skyrocket, and according to our Shoppability trend, 72% of Gen Z & Millennials are open to buying products on social media. (Recode)

Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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