TikTok Not Likely a Flash in the Pan for the Food Space

TikTok Not Likely a Flash in the Pan for the Food Space

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DIGITAL UNIVERSE - TikTok made its way into the social scene in 2017, but gained broad popularity in 2020 during COVID lockdowns when consumers discovered feta pasta and dalgona coffee. And, let’s face it, your family might have been dancing along to "Blinding Lights" or another TikTok dance challenge.

Today, TikTok is the fastest-growing social platform of 2022, amassing nearly 1.8 billion users. But these aren’t passive users who happen to have TikTok on their phones. More than 600 million active daily users currently spend up to 52 minutes a day watching about one million videos. For comparison’s sake, Instagram holds the average user’s attention for only 28 minutes per day.

At the end of the day, TikTok is about fun, but it’s also about discovery. Entertainment and dance top the list of category favorites, and food comes in at number eight. But that’s not all. TikTok generates action.

According to a 2021 study from marketing agency MGH, 36 percent of TikTok users have visited or ordered food from a restaurant after seeing a TikTok video about the restaurant, and engagement stats top out in the double-digits.


Like any platform, just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. In other words, how will you find your audience? As brands enter the space, they focus on several factors to grow: understanding their target audience, researching their niche, and making creative content. Gen Z has taken a particular interest in the food and drink community as creators and brands develop unique and engaging content. As mentioned earlier, TikTok is about entertainment, and the number one way for your brand to stand out is to create a food challenge, try an existing food trend, or hope you get lucky with a viral moment.

The Ocean Spray brand experienced a viral moment on TikTok when @420doggface208 posted a video of himself drinking cranberry juice while skateboarding to work

Speaking of viral content, one of the most memorable brand moments on TikTok happened organically for Ocean Spray when @420doggface208 went viral after he decided to skateboard to work while drinking a cranberry juice from the brand Ocean Spray and singing "Dreams." Ocean Spray didn’t just click like and move on, they embraced the moment, including having their Chief Executive Officer recreate the experience as hundreds of others did as well. In the end, Ocean Spray had a winning moment that not only trended online, but created a boost in sales.

Creative and Brand Exploration

The real opportunity of TikTok relies on creative exploration, and the willingness to try new things and have fun. Idahoan Foods created the #MashOutChallenge with influencers who created an instant mashed potato side, along with a dance, and shared them with their audience. This led to the product selling out in stores, and a 20.1 percent online engagement rate.

Created by Idahoan Foods, the #MashOutChallenge encouraged users to cook up some instant mashed potatoes along with a dance

If you are familiar with #Crumblcookies you might know about their weekly flavors. But their online TikTok presence has garnered over 6 million followers and an active fan base who participate in the #CrumbleCookieReview leaving weekly commentary of the week’s top flavors.

At the end of the day, all social media moves fast, but TikTok moves faster, and video is the new content medium.

Success on the platform will be about staying on trend, trying new things, jumping on trends, and experimenting to find what works. Don’t be afraid to figure out how your brand can get in on mug cakes, overnight oats, or butter boards because #food has 370 billion views and #easyrecipes is closing in on 8 billion views. It’s obvious, more than a few people are tuning in.

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FullTilt Marketing

At FullTilt, we embody the idea of love what you do. Food is a universal connection that everyone can understand—each…