The takeaway: Know how to insert your brand into the TikTok food-trend space by retracing the channel’s humble, yet very creative beginnings.
Few things scream early-quar March 2020 than Tiger King, Sourdough Starter, Tie-Dye Sweatsuits, and Whipped Coffee. While in some regard we have TikTok to thank for all these additions to the panini press cultural zeitgeist, none have been more influential than the advent of viral TikTok food hacks.
Dalgona Coffee – sweetened, whipped instant coffee served over milk – is the hack that started it all. With social distancing orders in full effect, this simple hack took the internet by storm as an easy way to make coffee shop quality coffee at home when everyone was in lockdown had nothing better to do. The allure was clear: it was tasty, simple, and oh-so aesthetically pleasing. Seems like everyone tried their hand making this fluffy cup of joe. I mean, even I still have a jar of instant coffee in my pantry from my own attempt. #TikTokMadeMeTryIt
Dalgona coffee walked so the TikTok Baked Feta Pasta could run. Of the viral TikTok food hacks, few have made it to the NYT Cooking section like the now-famous TikTok pasta. Starting in Finland and brought to the U.S. via TikTok by @grilledcheesesocial, feta pasta is stupidly simple and looks stupidly delicious. How could baking a block of feta with cherry tomatoes and stirring in pasta be bad? With more than 125M views on #bakedfetapasta, it is no surprise that feta and tomatoes were sold-out at the peak of the trend and marked the one time I sat on hold, waiting for the grocery store to check its stock of these ingredients.
But not all food trends are equal. While Baked Feta Pasta immediately sounds delicious, there were some viral food trends of which I am a bit more dubious. Top of that list is Nature Cereal. Created by @natures_food and popularized by Lizzo this recipe replaces cereal with fresh berries and milk with coconut water.
While not every trend is applicable to every brand, keep an eye out for an opportunity for your brand to engage. We encouraged Maxwell brands Pacific Foods and Bob’s Red Mill to jump in and put their own spin on many of these new classics for both TikTok and Instagram content. Has your brand tried any viral food hacks yet?