Social Media Awakens The Newest Food And Beverage Activity

Colorful social media logos on blocks for a trend article about how TikTok is influencing food & beverage trends

Social Media Drives Food and Beverage Trends

As seen in breakfast foods, social media is heavily influencing food and beverage trends. TikTok has been blowing up with entertaining recipes and food trends. According to Hootsuite Digital 2021 report, TikTok hit a 2 billion global download milestone in August 2020 and was the most downloaded app in 2020.There’s so much drink and food sharing activity that TikTok has subsections and mini-communities such as #DrinkTok and #FoodTok. From non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages to sweet and savory dishes, social media is taking consumers by storm. With continual user content uploaded, it’s unpredictable what food and beverages will go viral.

Baristas Gone Wild

In 2015, Comax identified “Coffee House” as a trend that tapped into consumer’s demand for Barista-style coffees. In 2019, Comax followed up with a primary research study on Barista specialty coffee usage outside of the home with 600 respondents.b The data revealed:

  • More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents drink “Latte,” making it the most popular style of barista specialty coffee
  • Three-quarters of respondents drink Cappuccino
  • Shy of two-thirds of respondents (64%) drink Frappuccino and Espresso
  • More than half of respondents drink Macchiato (52%) while half of the respondents drink Americano

Coffee continues to trend, and social media has helped escalate barista-style coffees. According to TikTok, the generic #Coffee tag has 14.5 billion views.c #Dalgona coffee made with equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water spooned over iced milk was the breakout coffee of 2020 during quarantine. According to Google Trends, “Dalgona coffee” has become the most searched type of coffee worldwide, overtaking previous highest peaks for all other kinds of coffee. Searches worldwide surged by 1,800% in mid-March and grew a further 1,700% in mid-April.d Starbucks baristas have TikTok to thank for making their jobs more complicated. From special orders to secret menu items, custom coffee beverages are raging. For example, published the “15 Viral Tiktok Starbucks Drinks You Should Try” article with specific recipes to order.e

Comax creates an assortment of coffee flavors such as Butter In My Coffee, Cocoa Hazelnut, and Cold Brew Coffee as well as tea flavors like Chai Spice, Gingerbread Chai, and Milk Tea. For additional beverage flavors, get in touch here.

Home Baker

For 2021, Comax identified “Home Baker” as one of their four annual trends. The pandemic caused an unpredicted amount of time in the kitchen. Thanks to TikTok and other social media platforms, baking and cooking were at an all-time high causing a shortage of baking goods supplies.

For example, #CloudBread kept consumers entertained during the pandemic with 3.2 billion views.f Jack and Beyond’s research named Cloud Bread as TikTok’s top food trend.g Although Cloud Bread went viral during 2020, it is not new. Cloud Bread also known as Oopsie Bread was introduced in the seventies as part of the Atkins Diet.h  Recipes vary and usually include three main ingredients such as egg whites, sugar, and cornstarch or eggs, cream cheese, and baking powder. Some recipes substitute dairy products, add flavors, seasoning, or food dye.

From pantry staples like bread and crackers to scrumptious cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, and pies, Comax develops delectable flavors for baked goods. Looking for a specific bakery flavor such as Banana Bread or Pizza? Reach out to us.

It Tastes Like Chicken

Vegetables, plant-based protein, and vegan recipes are trending as more consumers explore flexitarian lifestyles. According to Innova’s 2020 Consumer survey, the top four reasons respondents consider plant-based alternatives are: health, variety, sustainability, and taste.Like all the other food and beverage activity, social media is propelling vegan and plant-based food and beverage trends.

According to a Chewsygum survey, #vegan videos have been viewed 8.1 billion times, while #veganrecipe and #veganrecipes have a combined total of 939 million views.j Consumers’ affinity for chicken is evidenced by the quick service restaurant chicken wars, which feature both real poultry and plant-based analogs. It’s no surprise that #veganchicken has been soaring on social media with 28 million views on TikTok.k @futurelettuce posted a “2-Ingredient Flour and Water Chicken” recipe on TikTok that went viral in February.l The recipe literally combines flour and water and is continually washed until the starch has been removed. Then the wheat gluten is seasoned and can be cooked in a variety of ways. This wheat gluten byproduct is commonly known as Seitan, which is often used as a vegan meat substitute. Like Cloud Bread, Seitan is not new. It was introduced in 1961 by Kiyoshi Mokutani, a Japanese student of George Ohsawa, founder of the macrobiotic diet.

Comax offers a variety of savory flavors such as BBQ Chicken, Chicken Vegetable Soup, Fried Chicken, Grilled Chicken, and Street Tacos that can be used in both poultry and plant-based applications as well as seasonings/coatings, sauces, soups, and snacks.

Social Connection

Social media is an outlet for social connections. It fosters innovation, inspiration, creation, and collaboration. For many, social media was a lifesaver during the pandemic. Whether you are a novice or professional in the kitchen, social media offers entertainment and recipes. It is shaping food and beverage trends.

Looking to connect with your customers? Comax Flavors creates customized flavors and customized solutions for your on-trend food and beverage products. Reach out to us.


b N=1,200, Comax Coffee Product Study February 2019; Barista Specialty Coffee N=600