Since its founding a few years ago (October 2010), Instagram has become extremely popular. According to the social medium’s own Web site:

“Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. We’re building Instagram to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen. We imagine a world more connected through photos.”

How popular is Instagram today? According to Craig Smith, writing for DMR, Instagram:

  • has more than 300 million active monthly users, about 80 million in the United States.
  • is used by roughly the same number of males and females.
  • skews toward younger people, with 90 percent of users younger than age 35.
  • is utilized by 30 percent of social media users in the United States.

As a result of Instagram’s popularity, more and more marketers are including Instagram in their promotion strategy. For example, Lindsay Kolowich — writing for HubSpot — notes the following:

“There’s a reason food is such a popular subject for Instagram posts. Who doesn’t like scrolling through pictures of neatly arranged acai bowls, pastel-colored dollops of ice cream, and sandwiches bursting at the seams with sprouts and peppered tomatoes? Let’s be honest: We all love a good food picture. The emphasis is on ‘good,’ though.”

“If you’re in the business of selling food products — or drink products, for that matter — then it’s incredibly important to know how to take appetizing pictures. Today’s consumers expect you to use visual platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to promote your products, offer recipe ideas, announce events and promotions, and show off the human side of your community and culture. (Check out this list of photo editing apps for help.)”

“What does a great food brand Instagram account look like? To give you a little inspiration, we’ve found 15 food and drink brands that are getting noticed on Instagram. Check them out see how to use the visual platform to and gain fans, followers, and loyal customers.”

Here are Kolowich’s top 5 food brands on Instagram. Click the image below for the full list of 15 food brands.

  1. Bien Cuit — “The phrase ‘bien cuit’ is one French chefs often use to describe the darkest, crunchiest loaves of bread. It’s also the inspiration behind the name of this New York City-based bread company, which takes consistently clean, symmetrical photos that combine dark, rich colors with off-white or block-colored backgrounds. Its images are always sharp so you can practically hear the bread cracking in half.”
  2. FOMU — “FOMU markets itself as an ‘alternative ice cream’ company, so it’s no surprise they use their Instagram account to post pictures of their non-traditional flavors, such as mulled cider, cardamom pistachio, and maple bourbon walnut.”
  3. Forequarter — “Forequarter is a restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, known for its unique and ever-changing menu. They keep their customer base up-to-date on the most delicious new offerings by taking teaser photos of them, which are always colorful and meticulously organized.”
  4. Oreo — “This well-loved brand uses its Instagram account to get creative with the classic cookie. They tend to use bold, block colors like bright blues, pinks, and yellows to form a contrast with its black and white cookies. Scroll through the Instagram feed, and you’ll notice they post a handful of photos on a single theme for a short time.”
  5. Pabst Blue Ribbon — “For only posting about one product — a can of beer — Pabst Blue Ribbon sure knows how to get creative. Its Instagram feed is chock full of crowd-pleasing photos in keeping with the brand’s cool, artistic vibe. For example, the drawing of a Capri Sun filled with PBR is a great example of nostalgia marketing to the coveted millennial audience.”

16 Replies to “Food Brands Capitalizing on Instagram”

  1. The technological age is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with consumers. Now, it is possible to reach millions of people, at any place in the world, and at any time of day. More than that, marketing is being combined with the consumer’s personal life as well. These “advertisements” are being mixed in with posts from friends and family. The dynamic of having a brand or company have such an intimate connection with the consumer changes the way that the product is received and viewed.

    1. We are living in the network information era. the technology products as the platform plays important role. Compared with other traditional advertising medias, using Instagram spread the new product or brand is more flexible, because there is no any limits like time, place, group or etc. The Instagram itself has the huge users, and 90 percent of users younger than age 35, that is a big attraction for those food brand. They post the picture through meticulous renderings of light, color and ornament, i think this is so tempting. By the way, this promotion is almost free.

  2. Food is HUGE on Instagram, and the food brands do really benefit from the advertisements they put on themselves and the ones their customers put up as well. I can’t tell you how many Instagram photos I liked of delicious acai bowls, and I went out to try the different ones from different places. My boyfriend will always take a picture of dishes he finds are nicely presented and that he enjoys the most, as well. Then, he gets so many people asking him where he was because it looks so appetizing. It’s a great tactic for any type of brand to keep updated on the best way of marketing to their targets, and Instagram in this day and age is exactly the place they should be promoting on because of the popularity of it.

    1. I also agree with Heather. I follow many NYC and global restaurants on Instagram and I always love seeing food pictures. I am hoping to open my own restaurant when I am older so I am always interested in the food/restaurant industry. When I see some appetizing on Instagram it instantly produces a craving for me to go get that dish at whatever restaurant posted it. Restaurants are very smart when they use Instagram. Not only are they able to show off their delicious dishes. But they are able give details about the dish, recipes. And if it is a food cart, they are able to tell the fans where their location will be on that particular day. Instagram and social media as a whole has certainly revolutionized the restaurant industry.

  3. From my experience of Instagram, what I’ve seen recently is the trend of food brands popping up on Instagram pages. Of course its a great idea considering how popular Instagram is but advertising on there is a different prospective then what other companies might do. To be able to take a nice picture of an eloquent dish will certainly have people craving for that dish and wanting to go out and try it for themselves. It has allowed food companies to be able to throw their new products out there and not worry about if people are going to try it. I follow food pages on Instagram and its certainly caught my attention as well as others. The question now is if they’re able to keep it up.

  4. Finally, it has happened. I had a feeling companies were going to start using Instagram to promote their products. It is a great idea and I don’t mind seeing a nice food picture every now and then on my feed. I think this is just the start. Not only food companies will advertise using Instagram, but many other companies selling all sorts of products.

  5. With companies now taking to social media to promote their products, it’s inevitable that Instagram would be used as a means to promotion. For food and drink companies, this extremely popular photo-sharing site makes it easy to share photos of their products with their followers, and for customers to do the same. Personally, I like being able to browse instagram and find restaurants or dishes that I’d like to visit and share the ones that I enjoy with my friends and followers. This seems like an efficient and simple way for restaurants to advertise effectively.

  6. Food has become quite the trending topic on Instagram, with accounts such as “foodintheair” and “love_food” riding home with over 100k followers. I do not think there is a day that goes by that I do not tag one of my friends in a comment on a picture of a savory dish at a NYC restaurant. It is no surprise to me that businesses have taken advantage of America’s clear obsession with photos of good-looking food. By posting on Instagram, businesses not only allow consumers a peek at what is on their menu, but also how they present their food and their portion sizes. When consumers see a visual of the dish, they begin to have a craving for it and will be more apt to go out to the restaurant to try it.

  7. I’m actually a big fan of Instagram. I use it to share my daily life and follow many bloggers to keep updated with the fashion trend. I can feel the trend that many food bands are marketing the product by instagram because I recently posted two kinds of ice creams “dipping dots” and “gannon ice cream”. I got their likes from the official account and reposted by them.
    With the filter, I have to admit that the ice cream seems more attractive to customers.Many of my followers on instagram asked me where i got that ice cream.Even if the food dose not taste good, they still want to try. I think it might because posting a good looking food makes them feel they got noticed by other people.

  8. I think it’s a great tactic for restaurants/food brands to advertise their food on social media. Because I’m a picky eater, I like to look at the foods that restaurants post on their Instagram, and see if I would eat it or not. I follow a few restaurants on Instagram, and sometimes post specials or new items on the menu. It’s a great way to advertise their products. To be completely honest, I think the photograph itself is more important than the food itself. The right lighting and “filter” can make the most average food look more visually appealing, which can lead to more followers and customers.

  9. I am not surprised that many food brands are capitalizing on Instagram. Many companies are using social media to gain awareness. Instagram is one way to get your point across. I believe any company you are involved in needs to stay flexible. Face book was popular, Instagram is popular. Snap chat is another big social media piece however this vehicle disappears and doesn’t stay on the site like Facebook and Instagram. I have a friend who does nails for a living. She is a celebrity nail artist . She does many celebrities nails and she has 83,000 followers on her Instagram account. Instagram is just one way to get a company’s name out there.

  10. Food is extremely marketed on Instagram. Not even simply food, but any food or drink product. I know that sometimes Starbucks will initially spell a customers name weird or completely wrong in hopes of them sharing the photo on Instagram as a marketing tactic. Social media is very important for marketing products, and like the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

  11. I love Instagram and I absolutely love food. I have tried so many new restaurants because of things I have found on Instagram. I am also very guilty of posting pictures of my own delicious meals and I get asked so many questions about where I got it from or what it is because it looks so fabulous. I have seen restaurants become so much more popular just because they made an Instagram. When restaurants have their own page, it gives them more popularity since the customers will tag the page in their photo. This is such an unbelievably great, free, advertising skill for food businesses.

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