CHICAGO—Have you ever wondered why there are so many how-to and recipe videos for vegetables?

Three editors for prominent food media outlets, Bon Appetit magazine, The Kitchn and Delish.com, shared their insights on upcoming food trends, and the continued popularity of cauliflower during a session at United FreshMKT on June 25.

“Everybody already loves fruit,” said Lindsay Funston, deputy editor of Delish.com. “It hasn’t been a hard sell for us. With vegetables, we add a lot of cheese and sauces.”

Funston, Faith Durand, editor in chief of The Kitchn, and Carey Polis, deputy editor of Bon Appetit all agreed that their readers are hungry for more content about vegetables.

“What’s changed in the past couple of years is the wholesale adoption of vegetables as a nearly 1:1 substitute for starch,” Durand said, and content about those subjects continues to be popular.

Consumers, looking for healthier options, are turning to vegetables and fruit and are telling everyone about it, Polis said, especially on formats like Instagram.

“There’s social currency in taking photos of the food you’re making,” she said. “It’s cool to be showing people you’re eating healthy food. That’s a relatively new phenomenon.”

 

New media trends

The formats people are consuming food media are changing, as well. Two- to three-minute videos are no longer the only way to consume. Short clips, even as short as three to five seconds, work well on formats like Instagram or as a step-by-step demonstration, Polis said.

The Kitchn also sees ways to bring new life to trends that are several years old. Durand said content producers have taken several looks at items like cauliflower rice, for example. When a trend seems to be coming back around, they publish a new spin on it.

While cauliflower is still king, Funston said there are others ready for their moment in the spotlight.

“Cabbage, for the first time, has performed for us,” she said.

 

Want sticky content? Quality photos are key

Now, more than ever, how a dish looks can determine the viral potential. All three editors stressed the importance of excellent photos.

“A food photo on the internet is a button, a call to action,” she said. “On YouTube it’s a play me, on Instagram it’s a share me.”

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