The Breakfast Meal has undergone a full-scale revolution over the past few years. Its revitalisation has widely been attributed to the growth of Instagram and the now synonymous ‘humble brag’. This trend has caused the way we consume food to be redefined; we now not only judge our meals on their taste but equally, their aesthetic appeal. This change in consumer mindset highlights the power of social media platforms and demonstrates how online trends can make the consumer totally re-evaluate their understanding of an established industry.
The egg industry has been one of the largest beneficiaries of this new aesthetic breakfast trend. The growth of the sector has undeniably been aided by the prominence of the food on Instagram. Eggs are said to be in the top 10 most instagrammed foods of all time. Christina Honigfort head of marketing at New York Bakery Co highlights this trend stating that “Social media has driven breakfast into ‘Insta-bragging’ moments… We’ve noticed an increase in consumers tagging us in their breakfast bagel creations - especially those containing eggs.” This can largely be acclaimed to the discovery of new ways to prepare the food (see cloud eggs). This preparation format is particularly eye catching and happens to be the latest trend taking Instagram by storm; there are already 12.8k posts captioned #cloudeggs.
Smoothie bowls are seen as the perfect healthy breakfast; they are packed with energy boosting nutrients, taste delicious and most importantly in this Instagram influenced world, offer the perfect photo opportunity. They are bright, colourful and strikingly beautiful. It is these credentials that have led to smoothie bowls becoming an Instagram favourite evidenced by the #smoothiebowl caption being used well over 1.6m times. As a result of their popularity on social media, Kellogg’s has developed a ‘just add water’ alternative that is marketed at millennials on the move. The significant benefits of the product being its convenience and on the go capability.
Kantar data shows less food is chosen for its additional benefits as the day wears on. For instance, 19.8% of food eaten at breakfast is chosen for its functional properties, however, this drops to 13.4% of food eaten by the evening meal. If you want a glimpse into the future of functional food sector, look no further than Victoria Beckham’s Instagram. Celebrities have used the platform to promote detox teas and also more controversially appetite suppressant lollipops. A-listers have the power to send sales of a functional product through the roof with a single post or snap. Apple cider vinegar certainly felt the full benefits of the power of social influence; in May Waitrose said sales of its apple cider vinegars were up 60% and quickly accredited the growth in sales with celebrity endorsers such as Beckham, Katy Perry and Jennifer Aniston. As Instagram reaches one billion monthly users worldwide, it comes as no surprise that the demand for Functional food and drink continues to grow when it has the backing of such influential celebrities.
The influence of Instagram is being felt throughout the food industry whether it be the rejuvenation of the egg sector, the emergence of the smoothie bowl or the rise of functional foods. One thing that is clear is that in this current climate, Instagram with its 1 billion and growing active users, is likely to continue to shape the market and drive the industry in new directions for a few years yet.
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