Blog: Katy AskewConsumers are cooking for social media - and how brands can capitalise

Katy Askew | 28 September 2016

A new study commissioned by Arla Foods-owned Lurpak in the UK has found one-in-five people make a “nice looking meal” with the sole purpose of posting it on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. The survey of 2,000 adults also discovered, in the competitive world of social media, quite a few of us are actually cheating to claim credit for food that was, in fact, cooked by others.

Media psychologist Emma Kenny explains on average people are spending five hours a week consuming food-related media (by way of social and traditional media) and just four hours a week actually cooking.

“With so much delicious food content online, there’s pressure to compete on social media channels. Research by Lurpak shows however that less of us are actually cooking. We’re faking it – taking pictures of food prepared by other people,” Kenny suggests.

Lurpak is launching a “Game On, Cooks” campaign which, it says, aims to encourage people to “stop scrolling and hash-tagging and start cooking”. This is an interesting approach. But perhaps there is also another opportunity for food makers hidden in these trends.

So-called “foodie culture” has been a big challenge for legacy food makers. Understanding it – and the fact that many of the people contributing to its rise are not, in fact, the super cooks that their social media accounts might suggest – represents an equally big opportunity. People want to cook – but often they simply do not have the skill set that matches their lofty ambitions.

Brands that offer solutions to this – be it through meal components, ready-to-assemble meals, recipe suggestions and the like communicated at point-of-purchase as well as on social media – could well capitalise.

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