While Americans today seem to be busier than ever, most still say they cook at home at least once a week. However, where cookbooks once reigned as a kitchen staple, online sources are beginning to replace them for recipe inspiration, which has now become even easier with social media. Consequently, the rise of short, time-lapsed food videos has grabbed the attention of time-starved Americans who are looking to satisfy their appetites.

Seeking quick and informed ideas for food prep falls in line with Mintel Trend FSTR HYPR, which discusses how Americans strive to have everything instantly and continue to expect immediacy in their lives. Digital content – and food videos in particular – has been able to meet this need and has consequently captured the attention of millions of Americans’ eyes, as well as their stomachs.

Buzzfeed’s Tasty, a video website dedicated to showing recipes being created from start to finish, was launched on Facebook nearly a year ago and has since accumulated more than 50 million fans and more than 84 million comments. Food recipe videos are posted to the website every few days and range from 0:30 to two minutes in length.

Food videos appeal across culture, gender and age groups since there is no language barrier.

Food videos are especially engaging due to their ability to quickly grab and hold viewers’ attention with digestible amounts of information, as well as their ability to appeal across culture, gender and age groups since there is no language barrier. As younger adults are turning to online sources to motivate and teach them how to cook, these short food videos will likely continue to expand the variety of meals that cooks of all skill levels can prep themselves.

What We Think

Brands stand to appeal to digitally-savvy users by creating their own food videos that also showcase their products – both food and appliances – by showing how they can be used to create delicious meals. Including coupons or highlighting a brand’s website on a product’s package may help entice viewers to purchase the products shown in the videos. Brand websites may also help draw attention from new consumers, bolster loyalty to the brand, and increase traffic to their website by offering rewards or prizes in exchange for users’ thoughts on the videos on the website.

Staying on top of the changing social media landscape in order to create the best content possible is also important for brands. Innovations and changes to social media platforms release some creativity constraints, such as video length, brands may face when generating owned content. While the videos are expected to be quick, setting realistic time expectations for how long the recipe will take to make from start to finish during the video is important in attracting and retaining cooks as some viewers may grow frustrated with the rapidness of the video and make the mistake of thinking the cooking process should be as simple and quick as the video.

 Gina Cavato is a Research Analyst at Mintel. Her extensive knowledge from working in the advertising industry provides a solid foundation for writing varied consumer reports across several categories, including lifestyles and leisure activities.

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