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Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for restaurants and food service businesses of all kinds. Bakeries, ice cream shops, restaurants, and cocktail bars all find followers and fans on the platform. It’s no secret that people love looking at pictures of beautiful, unique, and photogenic dishes.
Keep reading, and we’ll cover the top food trends from Instagram in 2022, many of which found their way to the site from TikTok and across other social media platforms.
On everyone’s minds this year is health and wellness. Instagram feeds are full of healthy, homemade options. As we come out of the pandemic, consumers have a renewed concern for healthy snacks. Instead of reaching for fast food, many people are looking for alternatives that are lower in added sugar and salt, and higher in protein.
In fact, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the food industry is snacks. And, they’re more willing than ever to purchase snacks made from unfamiliar ingredients. A rise in gluten-free and vegan snacks ensures that there’s something on the shelves for everyone.
Baked Feta Pasta
Baked feta pasta might have started as a TikTok trend, but it quickly made its way across social media to become one of the most popular dishes of the year. The simple recipe is accessible and fresh, combining fresh cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and a block of feta cheese in a baking dish. Pop all of that in the oven at 400° for 30 minutes and it becomes an easy, cheesy sauce ready for your favorite pasta shape.
Charcuterie boards and butter boards
From restaurants to home kitchens, charcuterie became a social media sensation this year. Charcuterie is both visually stunning and interactive, making it a customizable favorite for gatherings of all kinds. The pairing of salty dried meats, roasted nuts, dried fruit, and an assortment of cheeses delivers something for everyone to love.
Butter boards are an offshoot of charcuterie boards that swept across everyone’s feeds this year. Chefs and home cooks alike indulged this trend with skepticism at first, but the concept is interactive and tasty. Spread creamy, premium butter in a delicate pattern and top with flaky salt, and micro herbs. Infuse the butter with garlic or herbs for extra flavor. Serve with crusty bread to scoop up all that goodness.
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Along with the trend of meat alternatives, cross-hatching is a visually stunning culinary technique that makes a splash on Instagram. Cross-hatching mushrooms, eggplant, or tofu creates more surface area for browning and flavor. And, cross-hatching makes vegetables or meat alternatives look like the real thing.
With the green goddess salad trend (pictured) and consumers’ heightened concern for health after the pandemic, leafy greens are on everyone’s Instagram plates these days. Green colors signal freshness and wellness. Adding a pop of green color, whether it be with leafy greens or a garnish of fresh herbs, is the perfect way to appeal to the visual palette on Instagram.
You can’t scroll through Instagram without coming across a recipe for butter chicken or a restaurant advertising their version of the Indian staple. Butter chicken is made with a tomato-based sauce traditionally spiced with the aromatic garam masala blend. The acidic sauce is balanced with fresh cream and served over rice or with toasty naan.
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Cloud bread has been circulating for a while, but it seems like influencers can’t get enough of this fluffy indulgence. The pillowy “bread” is naturally gluten-free, the original recipe calling for egg whites, sugar, and corn starch – similar to a baked meringue. The soft, round loaves are often flavored with ingredients that lend a pastel pink or blue hue, completing the soft “cottagecore” aesthetic. Even if few people are inclined to attempt the recipe, influencers and their fans can’t seem to get enough.
Pouring food across a table usually doesn’t seem like a good idea, unless you’re at a crawfish boil. Or, if you’re setting up a nacho table.
Nachos are best served in huge portions so the whole party can enjoy them. The concept is simple – set nacho chips on a (lined) table, and top them with cheese sauce, sour cream, pico de gallo, and pickled jalapeno slices. You could even add braised meat to make it a full meal. Nacho tables are more than an interactive gimmick – restaurants are picking up on the trend and posting their nacho tables across Instagram.
Cinnamon rolls aren’t novel or unique – most people break them out of that famous pressure-sealed tube and pop them in the oven. But, Instagrammers can’t seem to get enough of this sweet treat, and we can understand the appeal. Cinnamon rolls are visually stunning and the process of making them – smoothing out the dough, spreading cinnamon sugar across it, and rolling it all into a tight swirl, is a mesmerizing process to behold.
Gain followers for your business with these #foodtrends for 2023!
Whether you’re looking to start an Instagram profile for your business or grow your following, these Instagram food trends can help launch you into the spotlight. Experiment with different aesthetics to find out what your audience engages with the most.
And, don’t be afraid to use Instagram ads to boost your reach to local customers when trying to grow a following. Instagram can be a powerful marketing tool for restaurants and food service businesses, especially when you take advantage of viral food trends!
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