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…


Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?

The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  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.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies