Instagram is extremely powerful and it achieves far-reaching results for brands. A true testament to the power of Instagram is how it has impacted positively the food and beverage (F&B) industry.
The F&B industry has always been a ‘work-in-progress’. It’s one of the few industries where evolution is constant and inevitable. Raging trends today may be in tatters tomorrow and blossoming fads may go out-of-fashion even before the dust settles.
A large contributor to these evolving fads and trends is Instagram.
Changing the way we eat
The impact of Instagram is extremely evident in millennial society. Millennials today do not take any F&B related decisions without first consulting Instagram. Research has shown that the 18-35 age group spends on an average 120 hours a year browsing food and beverage pictures on Instagram (and we’re talking about the non-Instagram-crazy millennial follower).
Interested in another statistic? 30% of these millennials have also been found to reject restaurants whose Instagram presence is weak or weird. It’s safe to say that millennials would rather stay hungry than eat at a restaurant that has a questionable Instagram presence.
We eat with our eyes
But it isn’t just restaurant visits or purchase decisions that are affected by this social media platform. Instagram is quickly changing the way we look at food. Take the example of Starbuck’s Rainbow Frappuccino or Varsity’s The Messy Burger. Both look fresh, delicious and (quite literally) out-of-this-world.
Why look at established brands? Remember seeing that insanely gorgeous bowl of fruit salad on Instagram, posted by a non-celebrity user? Seemed too-good-to-be-true, didn’t it? But it also made you want to grab a bowl and dig right in. That’s the power of a good photograph.
In fact, the biggest influence of Instagram on the F&B industry is how it’s paving the way to create stunning, never-before-seen dishes. Ben & Jerry’s magazine-worthy photo spread of their new and quirky flavors is worthy of attention.
Instagram is paving the way for aesthetic food and brands which cannot deliver may soon find themselves at the losing end of the spectrum.
A whole new ball game
So, does this mean that restaurants which serve good food, but don’t have a great Instagram account may lose out on customers? Well, yes. That’s exactly what we mean. If you’re an upcoming restaurateur, then it’s imperative that you hire a great photographer to create brilliant Insta-worthy pictures for your Instagram account.
But there is an easier option at hand and that’s called Influencer marketing. Influencers are industry specialists or experts who have a large and supercharged follower base. They are renowned for their spectacular photography skills and are looked up to by thousands of followers when making purchase (and here eating and drinking) decisions. If you’re keen on getting your brand in the limelight, then influencer marketing is a great way to get started.
Renowned food bloggers Natasha Kadimi, Nick Neves, and Lindsay Ostrom are excellent choices for starting on your influencer marketing campaign. However, if these influencers are difficult to reach, you can always enlist the help of influencer marketing services like ifluenz. These companies have a large database of experienced and famous influencers and they’ll help you connect with the right people.
Changing the dining experience
From restaurant seating to plating, Instagram looks at absolutely every aspect of the F&B business. The type of tablecloth used, the way the menu card is printed, the method of choosing the dinnerware; every single decision taken by F&B brands should be “Instagram-compliant” today.
Instagram’s also changing the way brands engage followers. Take Red Bull’s adrenaline-pumping videos ads. The brand positions the product as part of the ad but makes the customers the center of attention.
Wrapping it up
Instagram has the power to revolutionize the way we look at, think about, create and consume food. If F&B brands wish to be on their A-game, then including Instagram in their marketing strategy is a must.