Take an inside look at five rising and top-performing—and delicious—food video trends before you plan your next video production.
Food is communal. It has a way of bringing people together, whether that’s in person or online. Like food photography, food and recipe videos have exploded in recent years thanks to sites like Buzzfeed’s Tasty. With all this time at home to cook up a storm, we’re seeing a rise in Shutterstock searches for food-related footage, often used to make cooking videos and recipe videos. Here, we’ll explore the latest trends in food videos that you can expect to see in 2020.
The Tasty Effect: How Top-Down Cooking Has Changed Food Videos
Buzzfeed’s food media brand Tasty is credited with the now-infamous “hands in pans” video style. Even if you don’t recognize the term “hands in pans,” you know these videos. There’s an overhead angle in which two “disembodied hands” demonstrate a sped-up version of a recipe end to end. They’re usually shy of a minute, sometimes as little as twenty seconds, and range from simple dishes to gimmicky food trends.
Journalist Dayna Evans confessed her love for these ubiquitous videos in a 2016 piece for The Cut: “The clips are akin to ASMR videos: They tap into the pleasure center of my brain with their mesmerizing simplicity, lack of fussiness, and quick pace. They make cooking seem painless, sedative. In a sea of free-flowing content hitting my already-scattered brain (often without my asking), Tasty videos act as calming one-minute meditations.”
Food Video Trends on the Rise
Food videos have since diversified, but our interest in food videos continues to increase. Think With Google says the watch time of “new recipes” videos in Canada increased 140% from 2018 to 2019. And in Australia, “cooking tips” videos are on the rise with watch time increasing by 60%.
Influencers like YouTube’s Binging with Babish and the New York Times’ Alison Roman help to drive further interest in food media. Alison Roman recipes frequently go viral (just look up the #TheStew or #TheCookies online) and are often known for signature ingredients like anchovies (a trend unto its own in the food world) which helps to pack an umami punch to her dishes. With tastemakers driving new audiences to food and cooking videos, the format — once bound to a single cable channel — is undergoing a transformation.
Food culture will only continue to cement itself in our cultural zeitgeist. And when it comes to how we consume video on the internet, consider this: “By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic—fifteen times higher than it was in 2017.” With that in mind, here are five trends we’re seeing when it comes to food videos.
Trend #1: Show Off the Texture
Texture enhances food’s appeal as a subject. Whether it’s in a photo or video, texture offers dimension, contrast, detail, plus it adds a fun and surprising element too. Texture is what makes food feel real online.
In the stock footage marketplace, we’re seeing this translate into searches for bubbles and condensation. Texture often derives from natural processes like fermentation and baking, but it can also be manipulated.
Take for example sparkling water. From La Croix to Sodastream, people are quenching their thirst through carbonated beverages more than ever. Even Coca-Cola is entering the flavored seltzer market this year with a new product called AHA.
Other examples of texture to include in your next video? Dehydrated powders (think nutritional yeast or even peanut butter), edible flowers, seaweed, and botanicals such as butterfly pea powder.
Trend #2: Baking (Sourdough, anyone?)
If your feed is filled with soft baked rolls and “crumb shots” of sourdough loaves, you’re not alone. Many people are learning to bake, thus catapulting a trend that was already rising (no pun intended).
Home cooks are looking to replicate their favorite products in the kitchen following education by sites like Bon Appetit, NYT Cooking, and even Masterclass. Step-by-step instructional videos that break down each step helps to demystify the baking process and offer visual cues for cooking indicators (think that glorious crumb shot that tells bakers how their yeast behaved during the rise and cook) or how to knead and stack dough so you achieve flaky, tender layers.
This next era of food video will focus on the instructional micro-moments behind baking. Make sure your footage focuses on the details and offers clear context to what’s happening. When it comes to the subject of these videos, think sourdough, breads, and old-school pastries like rolls, scones, and tea loaves.
Trend #3: Fermentation
Fermentation is no longer experimental—it’s mainstream. Upserve found the consumption of fermented foods was up 149% in 2018 alone. But in 2020 this is no longer just reserved for yogurt or kombucha.
Foods like kimchi, fermented miso, tepache, sourdough, sauerkraut, and koji are becoming common ingredients in our kitchens. Fermentation has the added benefit of being one of those natural processes that can add texture and detail to a video. Plus fermentation is endlessly fascinating, and not just from a culinary perspective.
Similar to baking, people want to understand the science behind what’s happening. Stock video footage can help offer a helpful behind-the-scenes look. Document close, tight shots of bubbles forming or audio of the “burping” fermenting foods sometimes release.
Trend #4: Takeout Culture
From January to March of 2020, “takeout” was among Shutterstock’s top fifty searched terms for food videos. One thing is very clear: our global pandemic has dramatically altered the way we experience restaurant culture. Still, takeout culture prior to COVID-19 was already seeing an uptick.
Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and other delivery-based services have scaled takeout culture for the masses. The food delivery market is projected to grow to $164 billion by 2024.
And it’s not just consumers who are catching on: chefs and restaurateurs are experimenting with “ghost kitchens” that offer delivery or takeout only and no dine-in option. For stock video footage, this means a focus on safe, responsible, and friendly delivery scenes and other food transportation options.
Trend #5: Traveling (Through Taste)
Food and travel intertwine. You experience a place through your palette just as much you would through your eyes. There’s a growing appetite for global cuisine (perhaps even more so as people look to bring a taste of far-off places to their current lockdown). As food consumers become more sophisticated and educated about the diversity of cuisines, they’re also watching a lot more videos related to these foods.
What global cuisines are set to dominate in the 2020s?
We’re seeing strong interest in Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese as well as foods from West Africa, Laos, and Vietnam. Global cuisines cover a broad range of dishes, from Taiwanese beef noodle soup to Japanese teriyaki. But, people are also looking for a spotlight on specific ingredients. Take Mexico’s tajin (pronounced ta-heen) for example. The salty, chili-and-lime based seasoning appears on everything from fruit salad to Disney’s famous Dole Whip. Consider these global cuisines when it comes to creating your next video project.
Top image by Agave Studio.
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