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State of Play of Influencer Marketing in the Food Sector

Shaken by the recent health and economic crisis, the food and beverage industry could have largely weakened since 2020. However, the sector has continued to see investments devoted to its increase. Even if some sub-sectors have been hard hit, others have undergone a facelift to continue to survive. Food and beverage players have, as mentioned earlier, been able to rely on digital, social media, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and Influencer Marketing to continue to prosper by reinventing their sales and marketing approaches.

apéritifs et boisson sur une table
apéritifs et boisson sur une table

The sector is especially well suited to visual creation and the content linked to it can easily allow an industry brand to make a mark. Industry professionals have found ASMR (“Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”, a feeling of well-being as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound), appetizing images, lives, short videos and long productions, in social platforms and collaborations with influencers, to continue to achieve their strategic means and objectives in the long term. It is noted that this dynamic of renewal does not only concern The Hexagon but is a worldwide affair.

Whether in Europe, Asia or the United States, the brands most capable of evolving quickly in a changing context have all managed to reverse the decline announced during Covid-19. Social media coupled with Influence Marketing has been a winning combo for these companies, and this should continue in 2023 and beyond:

Market figures and consumption habits

  • The industry is expected to grow by 6.21% annually between 2023 and 2027 (Source).
  • The food market alone is expected to grow 5.29% annually between 2022 and 2026 (Source).
  • The alcohol and spirits industry is expected to be worth $1,684bn by 2025 (Source).
  • If the physical restaurant sector was largely affected during the Covid-19, this period nevertheless brought about new food consumption habits, propelling online consumption and home delivery. Indeed, online food purchases have been democratized during various lockdowns. In 2025, it is estimated that 10.2% of food purchases will be made online, against 2.5% in 2017 (Source).
  • Generation Z, on the other hand, has fully embraced the codes of e-commerce, especially by social media. Indeed, 57% of Generation Z members have discovered new products on social media in the last three months, and 71% of them say that this is where they most often discover products from all industries (Source).
  • 50% of 18-24-year-olds share photos of food on social media. Food and drink is the third most frequently typed search on Google (Source).

Influencer Marketing and Social Media

  • Influencers are no slouch when it comes to helping industry players achieve their goals. Indeed, compared to the average obtained by a food or beverage brand only through internal means, influencers obtain, on average, five times more results (in terms of engagement) on their content (Source)
  • Still, on the subject of Influencer Marketing, the lever in the food industry shows, on average, a return on investment (ROI) ten times higher than that of the so-called «traditional» advertising (Source).
  • Influencer Marketing Food is also expected to grow 42% between 2019 and 2024 (Source).
  • Very trendy on social media, the hashtag #food displays, at the time of writing, more than 492m publications on Instagram (Source). Bear in mind, the same hashtag has no less than 448.3bn views on TikTok (Source).
  • On YouTube, 85% of Millennials say they have visited a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery or made a purchase based on a video (Source).
  • On Twitch, the typical ad conversion rate is less than 5% on the platform when it comes to the food and beverage industry, proving the growing interest for brands to get involved (Source).

The Food & Beverage industry is one of the sectors that has been able to sustainably transform and renew itself in a very unique economic and health context. By relying on social platforms and the prescription power of KOLs, professionals have found a way to survive thanks to a differentiating and creative communication approach.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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