Consumers overwhelmingly looked to social media platforms like TikTok for menu inspirations during COVID-19 and this trend is expected to continue post-pandemic, providing an opportunity for chicken brands to reach new customers.

#FoodTok wasn’t developed during 2020. It actually started before the pandemic, but it became hugely popular during 2020 because we all had time to watch the videos,” Leah Beyer, senior advisor, digital communications, global corporate communications, Elanco Animal Health, said at the 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit.

The social platform features short, easy cooking recipes that helped make consumers feel comfortable trying a new recipe at home. For example, after one video featuring a feta cheese pasta went viral, sales of feta cheese skyrocketed, resulting in shortages throughout the world. 

“If your marketing departments aren’t paying attention to TikTok, it might be something you at least want them watching,” Beyer cautioned. “If they’re not on TikTok, an easy Google search will show you what’s popular on the social media platform.”

Beyer also shared the top recipe search trends in 2020 and 2021.

A search for missed experiences

During the pandemic, consumers looked online for recipes that helped them replicate missed experiences. Top recipe search trends include churros and the Dole Whip, two popular menu items from Disney, the chocolate chip cookies from Hilton Doubletree Hotels and the Ikea meatballs.

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They also turned to social media for guidance on how to prepare popular foodservice items at home, from gourmet steaks to the Shake Shack burger.

“What really won the internet in 2020 was banana bread,” Beyer noted. “Everyone had a recipe to share. Banana bread was trending on Pinterest for months.”

Trends turn to exotic cuisines

As consumers begin to emerge from the pandemic, tastes changed from familiar comfort foods to more exotic cuisines, such as Polish, Moroccan, Thai or Korean.

“As travel continued to be postponed, people were craving more flavor. They were getting more courageous with their recipes,” Beyer said.

Attend the 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit

The 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit will be held at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia on July 25-27. Serving a unique cross section of the chicken supply chain, Chicken Marketing Summit explores issues and trends in food marketing and consumer chicken consumption patterns and purchasing behavior.
 
For more information and to attend, visit: www.wattglobalmedia.com/chickenmarketingsummit/.

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