It is undeniable that YouTube is a big platform for influencers. But when it comes to the food space, compared to the massive power and reach of food blogs, it is still finding its footing.
Why? I think it is because Gen Z – the core YouTube consumer – hasn’t quite entered the stage of life where they want to learn to cook. The oldest Gen Z members are in college, which means a lot of eating out and easy convenience foods.
However, once Gen Z graduates, they will want to learn how to cook. Will they look to blogs or Pinterest (which ultimately leads to blogs)? As a majority, probably not. They’ll look to where they always look for “how to” information: YouTube.
There are a TON of high-quality food blogs out there right now. There are a handful of food YouTube channels, but comparatively it’s slim pickings.
For food marketers: Start experimenting now! You may not get huge view counts right away, but think of the long-term effect. Your video could get hundreds of thousands of views down the line. And you can perfect your craft now before it is mainstream.
“Food hack” videos, demonstrating tricks and tips for making cooking exciting and fun, draw interest from one in four millennials. Use this as an opportunity to not only promote your product, but also explain how to cook with it and why it’s a useful tool or ingredient.
For food bloggers/influencers: Start experimenting now! Many food bloggers I’ve talked to are hesitant to start on YouTube because video is complicated. I get that. But I also know that the food blogging industry figured out food photography and styling from scratch. I have faith that they can also figure out food video.
In the meantime, the millennial generation is watching food YouTube videos. According to a survey by Google, Millward Brown Digital, and Firefly:
- Sixty-eight percent of millennial moms purchase food products featured in the videos they watch. Sixty-nine percent of these highly-engaged moms watch food videos every week, and 68 percent of them will also watch videos while cooking.
- While three out of four millennial women are open to watching branded food content, close to half (43 percent) have not done so, representing a significant opportunity for brands to gain new audiences.
- Sixty-eight percent of millennial men described themselves as a “confident cook” – two times more than their millennial female counterparts.
- Millennial dads are the most engaged with food content on YouTube, watching videos to spark inspiration and create meals. And 42 percent of them will make special trips to the store to buy products they learn about in food videos.
For the foreseeable future, food blogs are not going anywhere. They’ll always have the millennial, Gen X, and boomer generations. But if they want to remain relevant with the younger generation — and let’s be honest, make more money — they should start experimenting on YouTube now!