The Rise of the ‘Chefluencer’
A Fresh Era in Influencer Marketing and Online Food Culture
The world of influencer marketing is a dynamic landscape, constantly evolving to capture the attention and palates of audiences around the globe. One remarkable trend that has gained traction and popularity is the emergence of ‘chefluencers’.
These culinary influencers have stormed the online food culture scene, injecting a fresh perspective into how people view, interact with, and prepare their meals. The impact of ‘chefluencers’ on the online food culture is remarkable, as their inventive approach to cooking and sharing recipes has transformed how audiences engage with culinary content.
During the Cost of Living Crisis and Post COVID-19
Amidst the challenges of rising living costs and the lingering impact of COVID-19, people have found solace in the simple pleasure of cooking at home. In fact, the current economic climate has amplified this trend, with more people opting for cost-effective alternatives to dining out such as creating their own restaurant-style meals and ‘fakeaways’ from the comfort of their own kitchen.
In response to this growing interest in cooking, platforms like TikTok have played a pivotal role in sharing culinary experiences and amplifying the fascination with chefs. The short-form content format on TikTok provides an excellent platform for sharing cooking methods, recipes, and cultural culinary experiences in a visually appealing and easily digestible way.
However, as consumers become increasingly aware of being sold to, there has been a shift towards authenticity, resulting in a sense of disengagement from overly promotional or staged content. This shift towards authenticity is a natural progression as consumers seek genuine connections and relatable experiences.
Overall, the current interest in home-cooking reflects a positive and optimistic trend towards finding joy and satisfaction in simple pleasures. By providing authentic and engaging content, brands can tap into this trend and create meaningful connections with their audience.
Education and Sharing Cultures
The surge of interest in chefs and cooking, particularly on platforms like TikTok, can be attributed to various factors rooted in contemporary societal shifts. The widespread access to education and exposure to diverse cultures, accelerated by the rapid pace of globalisation, play a significant role. In today’s interconnected world, people have unprecedented access to education and insights into various ways of life that extend beyond the realm of food alone.
Utilising cultural connections with influencers has proven to be a dynamic strategy for engaging hard-to-reach audiences. A prime example is Laura Kersey’s captivating “Fusion Fry Ups” TikTok series. With Lithuanian roots in London, Laura has reimagined the traditional British fry up by infusing global flavours, creating a bridge between cultures authentically resonating with viewers. This series has gained immense popularity, inspiring viewers to try the recipes themselves and fostering a sense of connection.
This success underscores the power of creators who authentically connect with diverse backgrounds. By celebrating cultural convergence, influencers like Laura can inspire engagement and connect with previously elusive audiences, showcasing how leveraging cultural connections has the potential to create a meaningful impact on even the most challenging audience segments.
Quality > Quantity
The relationship between engagement-focused and quality-driven content is transforming in the evolving landscape driven by platforms like TikTok. These platforms, guided by advanced algorithms, prioritise engagement while discouraging overtly promotional material.
Throughout our journey in influencer marketing, we’ve witnessed an unmistakable shift. Brands’ increased investment in the influencer economy has resulted in higher production values for short-form content. This trend is particularly evident on platforms like TikTok, where creators gravitate toward polished content that instantly captures users’ attention. The intrinsic nature of platforms like TikTok is to deliver content that resonates with users, maintaining consistent engagement.
The shift toward authenticity and genuine connections has taken centre stage in this changing landscape. This transformation is a natural response to consumers’ growing awareness of marketing tactics, leading to disengagement from overly promotional or staged content. Authentic content holds more resonance, building a solid connection between creators and consumers.
As the trend of “de-influencing” gains momentum, where practicality triumphs over aspiration in influencer content, brands have a unique opportunity to cultivate stronger relationships with their audience. This approach is built on reciprocity, where brands offer value, nurturing trust and mutual benefit. This strategy resonates strongly with younger demographics, such as Gen Z and millennials, and has extended to various sectors like beauty and finance.
The rise of “chefluencers” has brought about a culinary revolution in the culinary realm, significantly impacting online food culture. These culinary innovators transcend boundaries, making cooking accessible and removing the intimidation factor. Their content invites a broader audience, fostering a culture of culinary experimentation.
Balancing the creator, brand, and consumer triangle can be tricky, but getting it right is essential to a campaign’s success. With a genuine interest in connecting with consumers and providing them with valuable, engaging content, brands can build trust and foster long-term relationships with their audience. By aligning with these influencers, brands can leverage authenticity and relatability to communicate on a personal level.
A successful example of collaboration comes from Shan Foods, a GottaBe! Ethnic client. They harnessed the power of professional and amateur chefs to share recipes and experiences while highlighting the cultural importance of dishes. This approach amplified authenticity and cultural connections, resonating deeply with the target audience.
In another campaign, Shan Foods expanded its reach by partnering with mainstream influencers from various categories, tapping into the cultural connection of food and shared meals. This broader approach increased reach and effectiveness.
As a marketing agency, we’re excited to witness this trend’s continued growth and evolution. We’re committed to helping brands navigate these changes confidently and thoughtfully.