Food delivery: With a booming market for food delivery, platforms are finding new ways to engage customers with TikTok collaborations that combine food with entertainment. Chobani recently launched a new limited-edition yoghurt product that is only available through the social media platform, while Postmates also teamed up with the social media app for a creator-led menu that features viral food trends.
Restaurants: Having connected with customers through social media during lockdowns, chefs are on track to become the influencers of tomorrow. With The Guardian dubbing restaurant merchandise ‘the new band tee’, and platforms such as DEMI connecting food enthusiasts directly with chefs, the cultural impact of top chefs will soar in 2021.
Campaigns and marketing: Unable to ignore the societal problems the pandemic has caused, food and drink brands are taking a civic approach to their campaigns. Alcohol-free beer Freestar is offering advice to young job-seekers via a hotline, while Burger King gifted its marketing channels to independent restaurants.
Digital experience: Virtual Happy Hours are growing up, and the virtual food experience is now linking up with the gaming sector. In Malaysia, Tiger Beer's month-long food fiesta allowed virtual guests to create avatars, interact with influencers and play games in order to win foodie prizes.
: With the rise of delivery platforms, eating and drinking experiences are increasingly crossing over with social media, entertainment and even gaming. To stand out from the pack, food brands should seek media collaborations that offer fun and immersive at-home dining
: As consumers become better acquainted with their neighbourhoods, the desire to support local restaurants has also accelerated. Expect the chef-diner dynamic to become increasingly poignant, as merchandise and cooking clubs replace meal kits as ways to support local businesses
: Brands should use their marketing channels for social good. Food campaigns are no longer about whetting the appetite but about showing integrity at a time when thousands of restaurants have struggled to survive
: The image of health is also changing. Consider how your brand can elevate everyday food and drink choices into a tenet of a more meaningful lifestyle