5 Ways Food Brands are Nailing Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing trends all industries are dictated by the fact that consumers crave transparency and want to feel included in a brand’s story.

Since we all eat food and consider it a necessity for survival, a vital component of socialization and a luxury, it is the most fun industry for marketers. Here are 5 ways I’ve recently seen food brands capitalize on influencer marketing trends and stand out in cluttered digital environments.

Where food comes from is not a secret

When it comes to fast food especially, there is no shortage of rumors claiming disgusting originations of food products.

To negate or prevent these rumors I’ve seen a lot of food brands do a great job of sharing the story of where the food they serve comes from. Of course, the story coming from the brand’s mouth is not as effective as having influencers tell the story. From start to finish, there are many creative ways to demonstrate this.

I will never forget the time my sister showed me a YouTube video 5 years ago on how McDonald’s chicken nuggets are supposedly made. I was horrified and this video went viral so you probably know  which one I’m talking about.

Whether or not I will eat chicken nuggets, I can’t help but be really impressed with how McDonald’s has been doing so much work with influencers to spread videos and be transparent about how their food is really made.


Food can be competitive

I love when food brands equip their consumers and influencers with a challenge or event they can participate in using a set hashtag. This engages the influencer’s network and creates a community and camaraderie for everyone partaking or following the challenge.

An example that stands out to me is when International Delight launched their Cold Stone flavors and challenged bloggers to create recipes and share them.

What’s great about a challenge like this is that food brands of all shapes and sizes can implement something similar.

cold stone and international delight challenge

Foster in-person Events

Of course it’s ideal when brand representatives can interact in-person but plenty of brands work with influencers to be ambassadors and host events for a brand.

What’s fantastic about working with influencers to host a party or event is all of the sharable content that results. Think about the posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs that get created with any party.

Check out this example of how Wholly Guacamole partnered with Daily’s Cocktails to have bloggers host a party. They sent them all the items they needed and scored some golden content.

wholly daily's

Be part of a greater good

Millennial consumers especially demand that a brand fulfills its responsibility to do good for the world, not just make money.

There is no reason that food brands should be sharing a really cool story with their advocates and influencers they partner with. One of my favorite brand examples of a food brand expanding past their actual product is Tito’s Vodka. Stay with me, this example is a little out of the ordinary but it’s incredible.

The founder of Tito’s is a passionate guy. I had never heard of this company until I came across a talk and an exercise that he does with people on figuring out what their passions are and how they should be living their lives. I took the challenge, I tweeted using their hashtag and the next night at happy hour, I asked for Tito’s Vodka instead of Grey Goose…


Seasonal influencer planning

Working with influencers more than once, on an ongoing basis, creates more authentic and trusted earned media. Thought behind it being that consumers trust an influencer when they talk about a brand at least three times.

Having a plan in place to work with the same network of influencers for an entire year is key. Food brands do this especially well by planning their marketing partnerships according to the seasons. Think autumn pumpkin spice lattes and summer peach deserts.

Influencers love to be in the loop and in the know when it comes to new flavor and product launches so use this to work with them to help your brand announce new products throughout the year.


Do you have any examples that you like of a food brand working creatively with influencers? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!

This entry has 2 replies

I loved your article and am extremely grateful to you for sharing these amazing ideas. Thank you very much.

What a great article. I will definitely share more examples from South Africa.

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