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: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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