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24 October 2017

Feeding creativity: How food culture is shifting on Instagram

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA, USA

Remember the good old days, when Tuesday night dinner was the two-hour roast, fresh from the oven? Neither do we. That's because mealtimes aren't exactly what they used to be: they've become more fluid, and mobile is a big reason why.

Shaping the way people discover, shop for and share new foods, mobile has completely redefined how the world connects with food – especially on Instagram. Whether at the corner shop, your favourite restaurant or online, mobile is being used anywhere and everywhere that people purchase food. And on Instagram, where 81% of people surveyed consider themselves food shoppers and are two times more likely to shop on their smartphones,1 this evolving interaction is creating even more opportunity for food marketers to stand out and inspire action through mobile.

To better understand how mobile continues to inspire the world's palette on Instagram, we teamed up with our in-house insights group Facebook IQ to explore the key shifts in food2 that are currently feeding creativity across our passionate community in the US.

Taking a bite out of meals

As people think of #food3 beyond the old routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner, we're seeing the rise of snacking behaviour challenging traditional eating habits – making mealtimes more fluid than ever. Driven by people's individual lifestyles and priorities, consumers (in the US) are 63% more likely to snack in place of a meal, while 84% choose to snack between meals.4 But it isn't just how people are snacking that's different, but what it means to snack as well.

In today's busy, on-the-go culture, it's no surprise that nearly four in ten consumers in the US agree that anything can be considered a snack.5 And when people are talking #snacks,6 they're also talking about foods that can traditionally be considered part of a meal, such as salads, chips and sandwiches.7

With so many snack brands out there, we needed to find a way to show how delicious our bar is and get people to try it. Facebook Creative Shop helped us create unique creative to catch people's attention in mobile News Feed that successfully lifted brand awareness.
Elena Parlatore, Director of Digital Marketing, INIT Snacks
Stirring up new behaviours

Convenience drives people's food choices and motivates them to shop for and prepare food in new ways. Rather than planning their lives around food, people now prioritise the time-saving aspect of products when integrating food into their lives. Online food shopping in the US is just one example of this emerging trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the amount of people who said that they've purchased food online and would do so again more than doubled,8 while accounts on Instagram are 2.6 times more likely to make packaged food purchases online.9

Similarly, the need for convenience may also be driving the rise of meal kits (subscription services such as Blue Apron or Plated) and app-based delivery services. And recent research shows that on average, for each layer of convenience added to the food purchase journey, people are willing to pay up to 11% more.10

Where food comes from is crucial

For #foodies11 on Instagram, where their food comes from and the story behind it is as important as how it photographs and tastes. Increasingly, more and more want their food to be wholesome in its nutritional content and authentic in its cultural roots. From its regional influences to its roots in nature, the conscious eater continues to shape the food choices and behaviours of people all over the globe – especially around niche ingredients such as spices, baking ingredients and international flavourings.

Matcha, a speciality green tea powder originating from Japan, is one example of a niche ingredient in a trending market. Most popular amongst younger generations in the US, particularly women aged 21+,12 matcha has generated growing conversations on Instagram for its beneficial qualities and its health and visual appeal. Cha Cha Matcha (@chachamatcha), a tea parlour in New York City, has tapped into the trending aesthetic of matcha in its drinks as well as through its Instagram feed.

Whether it's showcasing our shops, new products or even sharing fun facts about our brand, Instagram has helped our business in a myriad of ways. It is pretty much the only social media platform we use. It allows us to interact with our customers on a daily basis and give them behind-the-scenes looks at what we do.
Matthew Morton, Co-founder, Cha Cha Matcha
A place for food, creativity and impact

As mobile continues to reshape the world around us, it's important that food marketers understand its impact and the ways in which Instagram can help connect them with their customers. Whether through stories, feed or other creative tools, our platform is shifting the way people discover, shop for and share new foods on mobile.

To learn more about mobile's impact on the tastes and behaviours of people when it comes to food, head over to Facebook IQ for the full article. And to see how other food brands like Teddy and DiGiorno are finding success on Instagram, discover their stories here.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA, USA