Having a compelling influencer marketing strategy is vital for snack and beverage brands. There’s even psychological evidence for it. A recent study in the scientific journal Appetite suggests that social media exerts tremendous sway over how often people indulge in snacks. Another study found that the more followers a creator has, the more likely food posts will influence an individual’s eating habits.
That’s why treats like Pop-Tarts, Doritos, and Sour Patch Kids have been developing scrumptious sponsored content. Today we’re looking at some of the best creative snack content, the platforms where snack brands are activating, and how your brand can engage with hungry online audiences.
TikTok is a hotbed for snack brand activations, and it is easy to see why. The #Yummy hashtag (42. B views) is the most popular trend in food and beverage. Insights reveal that 54% of consumers engaging with this content are aged 18-24, making it an ideal tag for snack brands that cater to young audiences.
One success story comes from Crumbl Cookies, which has rapidly expanded on TikTok. Before blowing up on the platform (currently ranked #15 in the food and beverage category), it was a single-store business. Now it’s a rapidly expanding franchise thanks to passionate product review UGC from influencers like Nicole Axelrod (334K TikTok) and others trying limited edition flavors for the first time.
Liquid Death canned water has enjoyed a similar popularity explosion, fueled by collabs with comedy influencers like chefboybones (7.4M TikTok) and stand-up comedian/thirst ambassador Bert Kreischer (2.1M TikTok). The hilarious ad featuring an underwear-clad Bert pouring the beverage over his body has been viewed over 5.7M times and demonstrates the high engagement potential of connecting brands and comedy influencers. 71% of consumers look for laughs when scrolling through their social feeds, as previously covered in this blog post.
At the same time, established brands with zero prior presence on the platform have found near-instantaneous success. Cheez-It, for instance, struck gold by creating a string of duets, a form of content that allows creators to post videos side-by-side with videos from another creator. In one duet, a spokeswoman admires the artistry of a TikTok user who enshrined a Cheez-It in hot glue as a necklace, gaining 10.5M views. Another duet of a reaction video of a creator who paints lifelike brand logos on rocks garnered 26.6M.
A lot of the brands making headway tend to appeal to teenagers.
What these brands have in common is that they are well-versed in TikTok culture. When marketing to audiences on TikTok, it’s critical to identify content trends that mesh with a brand’s identity — whether weird, zany gag posts or a call for sustainability — and build your approach around them.
Boutique, nutritious snacks like pumpkin seeds, charcuterie boards, and organic cookie crisps excel on Instagram. Content tailored to the female, 18-29, upper-middle-class demographic is prevalent on the platform. Though a narrowly defined niche, there are a lot of opportunities to expand brand awareness.
AHA Sparkling Water recently generated some LOLs by teaming up with Anna Konkle (168K) and Maya Erskine (213K) of PEN15, the Hulu series about reminiscing on all those awkward moments in middle school. The collaboration netted some hilariously punny video content.
Another beverage brand building a presence through the platform is Olipop sparkling tonic. The brand’s Olipop Partner program creates a steady flow of publicity by looping in college athletes, dietitians, and momfluencers. They also produce endearing cute kid content, which is irresistible to anyone with children. See more about the benefits of activating momfluencers in our feature here.
Brands that traffic in wholesome snacking often activate clean-eating influencers. Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma have sponsored Gillian Rose Kern, the blogger behind For Love & Lemons. Similarly, Parm Crisps, Thrive Market, and Hilo almond flour chips have appeared on the Keto-friendly food blog Taste Lovely’s Instagram. Ithaca hummus has worked with numerous chefs, health food bloggers, and noted Epicureans.
The intersection of esports and snack brands can be a fascinating place. A lot of the current strategy involves creative ways of getting big-name talent together on the same stream for outsize viewerships. Coca-Cola, for instance, recently sponsored a stream that united female gamer Loserfruit (3.8M TikTok, 2.8M Twitch) with the masked music producer Marshmello (55.7M YouTube, 45.3M Spotify).
In another Livestream event on Twitch, Sour Patch Kids orchestrated an esports match featuring four prominent Rocket League players. The activation was highly reminiscent of Doritos’ Reggie-winning Disrupter esport content series, right down to the limited edition products named in honor of the esport stars. That event series garnered over 75 million minutes watched and 3.2 million unique viewers.
Food-brand x gaming sponsorships tend to be innovative, elaborate, and over-the-top to tap into Gen Zs attention span. The gaming creator GoldGlove (1.4M Twitch) recently did a stream playing Fortnite with an interactive virtual YouTuber, or VTuber version of Tony the Tiger. More conventional collaborations with snack and beverage brands include Dr Pepper, Rockin’ Protein, and Wonderful Pistachios.
Influencers and live events are a perfect pair, like hamburgers and french fries. Assemble an ideal content marketing strategy by layering social posts, influencer UGC, and IRL activations. The 4th most popular YouTube, MrBeast (104M YouTube), continues to do all that. When the Gen Z influencer and entrepreneur opened the first MrBeast Burger at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey, he challenged customers to show up first in line. An estimated 10,000 fans from all over the country flocked to the location. To keep the hype going after its debut, MrBeast published a video of competitors playing hide and seek inside the mall, reminding audiences about the store opening in the YouTube description. The franchise interviewed the viral sensation “corn kid” to see how he liked their food. Tariq rated the food a 10/10 but admitted it would be better if it had corn in a TikTok viewed 21M times. Chipotle has also capitalized on the corn kid fame in a Reel that has gone viral (35M views).
Brands with a more health-conscious and fitness-based audience should consider action sports events. Brodeo, a first-of-its-kind surf exhibition featuring celebrity influencers and the world’s top surfers, takes place on October 14th, 2022, at the Waco Surf Resort in Waco, Texas. Team USA Surfing will be available to discuss partnership opportunities and a world-class surf videographer to produce brand content for activations. Contact Jeran@sostandard.com for more information on sponsorship packages.
Attitudes and appetites differ from one social platform to another. When activating influencers in the snack and beverage category, tap into the right trends and have the creative that matches your audience. We specialize in facilitating these kinds of partnerships.
The Social Standard is a full-service influencer marketing agency driven by setting the standard for the industry and then reaching even higher. Our team is obsessed with finding the right influencers for our partners. But we are way more than just matchmakers. We are strategists that develop effective campaigns to delight, inspire, entertain and hit business goals. From concept to seamless execution, we work with clients such as Adobe, FiatChrysler, L’Oreal, Motorola, and others, positioning them as pioneers in innovative influencer marketing and helping talent thrive in the creator economy. Want to learn more about our agency’s work? Shoot us an email at email@example.com. We’d love to collaborate!