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Is Instagram Ruining The Food Industry?

Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has evolved from being a simple photo sharing platform into one of the most massive and powerful forces on the internet, a platform that’s shaping industries.

One of the industries being heavily influenced by Instagram is food. Aside from facilitating searches, hashtags like #foodie, #foodporn, and #foodgasm also prime the public mind to fall in love with the next food trend.

But this nonstop flow of trends comes with a price, because being Insta-famous doesn’t come Insta-easy. The boundaries of food presentation and service are both being pushed for the sake of Instagram virality.

What was new yesterday will be old tomorrow, forcing creators to be more inventive. As a result, we see over-the-top food and beverage concoctions on our feeds almost on the daily.

From Unicorn Frappuccinos at Starbucks to cloud eggs you can make at home, it seems there’s no shortage of Instagram-worthy food selections out there — but are they hurting the food industry more than helping it?

There’s no denying that Instagram food trends are becoming primary sales drivers in the industry in some ways, but it comes down to the individual effects to determine whether they are helpful or detrimental to the business as a whole.

What Are Food Trends?

These days, it’s impossible to browse through Instagram without being assaulted by #foodporn pics at 3 AM.

When this happens, what’s in front of you becomes all you ever want to eat — yes, even a 2-foot tall ice cream cone sounds like something you might be down for at 3 AM. Or maybe especially at 3 AM.

You better get to licking, this cone from @stuffedicecreamnyc has 21 scoops. 🍦 #scoopsonscoops #insiderdessert @rinnny_

A post shared by INSIDER dessert (@insiderdessert) on

Nobody knows about the phrase “eat with your eyes” better than Instagram foodies. Food trends that go viral on Instagram have the power to draw flocks of people and drive sales upwards.

Food trends refer to ridiculously attractive — and often excessive — styles of preparing and consuming food and beverages. Dishes and drinks that are #InstagramWorthy must be pleasing to look at before they are nutritious or tasty.

Which makes sense because Instagram users have such high standards when it comes to images and videos. On a platform that has over 700 million users, content has to have a level of shock value to turn heads.

Food Trends Gone Overboard

Because food and beverages need to tip the attractiveness scale to gain attention, food businesses are pushed to prioritize visual appeal over nutrition and taste.

This is why many are saying Instagram has ruined the food industry. By shaping what we eat and where we eat based on what’s deemed appealing on social media, Instagram has shifted everyone’s focus when it comes to food and beverages.

Dirty Bones in London is known for their mouthwatering comfort food. Aside from their selection of good food, this restaurant is also known for offering a free ‘Instagram Foodie Pack’ which includes a camera light, a selfie stick, a phone charger, and an attachable wide lens that helps customers take better photos of their food.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Vespertine, LA’s latest trippy menu tasting restaurant that dissuades the use of electronics at the table. This means diners have to focus less on taking attractive photos of their food and more on the culinary experience that’s in front of them.

September reservations now available.

A post shared by V E S P E R T I N E (@vespertine.la) on

The jury’s still out on whether or not Instagram is ruining the food industry but one thing is for certain: it has divided restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs.

Have food trends gone overboard? In a sense, yes. Food and drinks need to comply to a prevailing theme of excessiveness in order to be deemed #Instagrammable – but it most certainly has the power to drive sales.

Food Aesthetics As A Form Of Marketing

According to Steve Zagor, the Dean of Culinary Business and International Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, food aesthetics is an essential form of culinary marketing that restaurants and chefs need to adhere to if they want to thrive.

Whatever way you look at it, food and beverages need to be visually appealing in order to sell. Food needs to look appetizing at the very least, so it’s no surprise that in our digital and image-obsessed world food is starting to look more like art.

Marketing is just as important for food as it is in any other industry. Restaurants need to leverage the internet and our fascination with images in order to become more visible to more paying customers.

#Instagrammable food and beverages appeal to those customers who are mainly on social media — the millennials.

Millennials often rely on Instagram or other social networks to discern whether a purchase is worth the money or not. If these people see that something’s getting a lot of attention from their peers, they’ll be more inclined to check it out.

Instagram has given businesses in the food industry an opportunity to appeal to more consumers via the internet. It has allowed smaller businesses with limited marketing resources to become more competitive, giving anyone with a nice camera a decent shot.

In a sense, Instagram is at least as important to the food industry as it is to any other industry, because it has become a place where companies can raise brand awareness without spending a fortune.

If you’re looking for a way to drive sales for your business, consider venturing into Instagram marketing. This social networking site gives you an opportunity to connect with thousands if not millions of users with a single upload.

You can even buy yourself a few thousand Instagram Likes and Followers to better your chances of being seen. This will make you appear more popular, and so people will naturally flock to your account to see what all the fuss is about. If they like your content, they’ll follow you to see more.

When used correctly, Instagram can help you take your business to a whole new level — one viral photo at a time.

It’s All About Balance

There’s been plenty of talk as to whether or not Instagram is ruining the food industry as we know it, or improving on it. While the discussion regarding this matter is far from over, one thing is for sure — Instagram is a marketing game changer for many industries.

The real challenge for businesses in the food industry is not creating the next monstrous dessert bowl, it’s learning how to use Instagram to market their products while upholding the standards of taste and nutrition. When developing an Instagram marketing strategy, focus on delivering a brand message that’s both appealing and truthful to your vision. You need to come up with a sustainable strategy that will help you appeal to your ideal customers in the long-term.

Combine your strategy with a few thousand Instagram Likes and Followers from a reputable provider to help you gain the initial traction you need. Artificial social signals can help you establish a more buzz-worthy persona that can draw attention from organic users. The more Likes and Followers you get, the easier it is to get even more.

Remember, Instagram can bring people into your store but if you fail to provide them with a pleasurable experience (and good food), they won’t be likely to return for seconds.

Image credit: Black Mirror, episode “Nosedive”

Date: September 26, 2017 / Categories: Interesting, / Author: Mariko

September
26
2017

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