If you’re looking for millennials or Gen Z, you’ll likely find them on Instagram.

The majority of Instagram users belong to those two generations, according to Hoot Suite. By design, Instagram is a visual platform, relying on photographs, videos and reels to compose what’s known as an Instagram aesthetic — an enviable visual harmony across a user’s platform.

Millennials love a good food video. Think with Google said nearly half of adults watch food videos, but the generation that seems to love them the most are millennials. This means social media is an important way for a brand to disseminate videos their target audience would watch — and that could potentially bring them into restaurants.

There are different reasons why millennials love these videos. Think with Google said food videos will often inspire people to try new food, whether that means making new recipes or buying new dishes — “Sixty-eight percent of them purchase food products featured in the videos they watch.” This means food videos could be a highly effective way of inspiring customers to come into the store.

An insights group associated with Big Village found social media plays a big role into how Gen Zers eat. 53% of Gen Zers said they find their food inspiration via TikTok. This means food companies can thrive by capitalizing on social media and curating feeds which inspire Gen Zers and millennials to come through their doors.

Brands like Whole Foods, Erewhon, Crumbl and Trader Joe’s have committed consumers and have amassed social media followings that play into what Gen Z and millennials love — fancy food videos.

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The success of Whole Foods

While Whole Foods is typically known as the national expensive grocery store chain that sells fancy, healthy food, Insider showed how Whole Foods is only a little more expensive than Walmart.

According to Insider, the typical Whole Foods shopper is a highly educated millennial woman who buys more kombucha than the rest of the country.

Whole Foods has built a powerful social media presence with 3 million followers on Instagram. The company posts videos where it reveals how it makes products that have a cult following, such as the Chocolate Chantilly Cake.

Or the company showcases how to make its roasted broccoli, which has Caesar dressing on top of it. The grocery store has branded itself as the healthy option and knows its audience, which is why this video about broccoli is one of the more popular ones Whole Foods has posted.

Who knew broccoli could be the makings of a popular video?

Since Whole Foods has become evocative of beautiful and healthy food (mirrored in its social media), it has been able to become a cult favorite, especially among younger generations like Gen Z and millennials.

Why is Erewhon all over TikTok?

If you’ve been on TikTok lately, you may have seen a video with #erewhon, which has racked up over 318 million views. Erewhon is a grocery store based in Los Angeles, California. It’s not a national chain, but it’s got a cult following.

One of the most popular products from this grocery store is the Hailey Bieber smoothie, which is a strawberry glaze smoothie. If you want to try one, you’d have to be in California and also be prepared for the nearly $20 price tag on it.


Hailey Bieber Strawberry Glaze Skin smoothie X 10 🍓

♬ Happy - DJ Keblinger$

Erewhon has gained attention for its unexpected products. Take for example, the Lion’s Mane mushroom. While these likely aren’t available at your local grocery store, you might be able to find them at a natural grocer’s stores — but that’s still a toss-up. It’s one of the products Erewhon has become known for — and it’s illustrative of the store’s uniqueness.

How did Crumbl become so popular?

Crumbl’s aesthetic — pink boxes with cookies which have frosting, sprinklings and other toppings adorning them — may be one of the reasons the brand has become a cult favorite. CEO Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley have credited their social media presence, especially on TikTok, as contributing to their success.

Crumbl has expanded rapidly since their opening in 2017. The New York Times reported the company has inspired a following of creators who take to TikTok to rate the weekly menu and post about the cookies they love the most.

Crumbl Cookie is leading the dessert industry — what’s behind its popularity?

With viral TikToks, an authentic and polished aesthetic along with massive cookies to boot, Crumbl became popular through its use of social media.

The Wolf of Franchises said, “Crumbl uses social media to acquire customers and build awareness for much less advertising dollars than competitors. It also does a weekly ‘unboxing’ show on YouTube that draws in 100,000+ viewers a week and keeps the brand top of mind for customers!”

It’s not just Crumbl’s regularity with posting on their social media accounts which helped it build an audience — it’s also its social media presence. Crumbl leaned into the food aesthetic videos millennials have been shown to love.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is a grocery store so popular it has its own seasonal newsletter — this adds a personality to the shopping experience. From the chain’s frozen orange chicken to the everything but the bagel seasoning, Trader Joe’s has items which many people love to buy. Plus the store’s flowers, plants and succulents are available at very affordable prices.

The labels on its food are customized and aesthetic, which makes the process of grocery shopping more fun and exciting — the company even has its own custom font. Secondly, the employees are helpful and amicable. Thirdly, it has some eclectic food offerings from time to time. They company has offered mango-flavored Oreo cookies and chocolate lava gnocchi.

The store layout is inviting and aesthetic. There are chalk drawings all over the store that are unique to that specific store, which adds a personal and intimate element to the experience. The social media presence doesn’t hurt the brand either. With 2.9 million followers on Instagram, Trader Joe’s often posts meal inspiration and new items to its adoring fans.