The Blog

June 29, 2020


Influencer marketing in the food and drink industry [Report 2020]

ZINE analysed over 40 food and drink brands to understand how they utilise influencer marketing to grow their brand and generate sales.

In this report, we take a deep dive into how small, medium and large food and drink brands make influencer marketing work.

We reverse-engineered each brand’s strategy to highlight what’s currently working and what brands should consider before launching their own influencer marketing campaigns to drive business success.

We look at:

  • How long and short-form video can be lucrative for brands opting for influencer marketing
  • Why it’s crucial to consider working with food influencers within a brand-owned ambassador scheme
  • How product placement and recipe-style content offers an authentic way for consumers to learn about new products
  • The power of repurposing influencers food content on your website and social platforms
  • The importance of understanding your target audience and finding influencers to match

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The market

The food and drink industry has a wide range of subcategories from fresh and packaged food, savoury snacks, sweets and alcoholic beverages. Additionally, brands like Hello Fresh and Simply Cook take a digital-first approach to their food subscription delivery service.

With revenue from food and drink brands expected to show an annual growth rate of 10.6%, there’s never been a better time to start capitalising on the attention food and drink brands receive online.

Working with influencers in the food and drink industry

Gone are the days where people would hunt through a bookshelf of recipe books to find inspiration for their next dish. Instead, they use social media to see what people have shared.

Before deciding what to buy, consumers turn to influencers to see what’s hot and new. For food and drink brands, this presents a unique opportunity. Getting products in front of the right audience, at the right time will lead to increased sales and improved brand awareness.

Many brands struggle to stand out online, so turn to influencers to support content creation needs. Influencers may be tasked with filming themselves eating a product, using it within a recipe, or even combining it within content about budgeting – the possibilities are endless in this niche. there’s a food influencer out there for everyone.

Our report indicated five key trends within the food and drink industry right now.


Long and short-form video

We found that brands who worked with influencers to create both long and short-form video benefitted from increased engagement as well as a wider variety of content formats to use for their brand.

As the saying goes, people eat with their eyes so, in order to grab and hold consumers attention, food and drinks brands should consider looking at multiple content formats – instead of just photos. The addition of features like IGTV and TikTok present an opportunity for brands to leverage the platforms they already use to create different styles of content with the influencers they work with.

Brand-owned ambassador scheme

On the whole, consumers have short attention spans, therefore seeing a piece of content just once might not be enough to sway them to try a new product. What’s more, with organic reach at an all-time low, there is no guarantee that all of an influencer’s followers will see the content they create. That’s why we’re seeing brands find success in creating their own brand owned ambassador programme to drive and support long-term advocacy.

If you’d like to see how your brand could benefit from a brand ambassador programme, get in touch with our team or check out our Creator Communities.

Product placement and recipe-style content

Potential customers need to see that your products have a place in their lifestyle. If you create food and drinks products that go well within established recipes, work with influencers to highlight these and utilise their own creativity to show an array of different options.

Repurposing influencers food content

We looked at whether food and drinks brands repurposed influencers’ content on their social platforms or website. We saw 25% of food & beverage brands repurpose influencer content onto their own social media channels but only 14% utilise this content within their website content.

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Understanding your target audience

A clear understanding of target audiences can help select the influencers to work with. Work with influencers whose followers have a similar demographic to the brands, to increase the relevancy and thus the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns.


So what’s next?

Now you’ve got some understanding of the types of strategies food and drinks brands are implementing right now, it’s time to see how that manifests as actual content. Download the food and drink influencer marketing report to find out more.