Fanbytes have helped...
In this article:
Little Moons Goes Viral
Food Trends on TikTok
There’s always a new interesting food trend on TikTok. Who can forget the viral whipped coffee craze of 2020? TikTok made everyone a home barista, whipping up instant cappuccinos from short, snappy TikTok tutorials. Let’s not forget the recent ‘tortilla trend’, where you’d fold a tortilla to combine four yummy fillings: we saw everything from the classic wrap, a vegan take, an East Asian-inspired version, and even a sushi-inspired. These trends usually start out on TikTok, eventually rippling out across the rest of the Internet over the succeeding weeks.
Little Moons: A 700% Increase in Tesco Sales
The most recent viral craze: Little Moons Mochi ice cream. These are ice cream balls wrapped in Japanese ‘mochi’ (rice dumpling), available to buy in fun flavours like coconut, caramel, mango and peach.
These little ice cream balls have been sold out everywhere: Tesco reports a 700% increase in sales, with Waitrose reporting a 350% boost compared to before. And of course, the harder they are to find, the more people want to try them.
So, what happened? Out of lockdown boredom, a few TikTokkers posted about going to the ‘big Tesco’ and ‘discovered’ these small, aesthetically packaged treats. Their followers soon got curious and wanted to buy some themselves, and so the trend spiraled: the organic hashtag #littlemoons has 144 million views and #littlemoonsmochi has garnered 105 million! (at the time of writing).
Prolonging A Viral Moment
Little Moons have been actively posting on TikTok since August 2020, and are now on 171.1k followers and 2.1 million likes (at the time of writing). After they found themselves gaining more traction, they amplified their content by posting videos focusing on viral trends and songs, such as this ‘iconic duo’ trend and ‘Girl…don’t do it it’s not worth it’ sound.
They also tapped into a rich TikTok ‘ASMR/Satisfying Videos’ community, allowing them to build a cult following of 171.1k people. Their most popular videos feature ‘squishing’ the ice cream ball. This one has 2 million views, 113 likes and 3,408 comments, and this very similar one showing ‘cut up’ and ‘squished’ ice cream balls has a mammoth 1.3 millions views, 132k likes and 7,135 comments.
Little Moons also successfully capitalised on the initial traction of their brand, acknowledging the ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) that people felt when they couldn’t get their hands on their product. This amplified their viral moment. They also managed to prolong a fleeting trend into one that’s lasted weeks, by tapping into TikTok’s ASMR niche as well as other viral trends on the platform. As a result, they gave birth to two organic hashtags surrounding their brand. #littlemoons has garnered 150.7 million views and #littlemoonsmochi has 107.7 million views.
Some of the content on these hashtags included ‘food reviews’ of Little Moons and ‘pro tips’ about how to get their hands on the ice cream (such as taking an Uber to big Tesco at 9AM!). People have even tried to make their own versions at home and are showing off stockpiles of their favorite ice cream in the freezer.
As a food brand, this is the exact reaction you want: people coveting and trying to get their hands on your product. With just a tiny bit of effort and a couple of videos, Little Moons managed to harness their organic trend and prolong a viral moment into a lasting craze that led to huge increases in sales.
TikTok and Google Data Shows Big Surge for Little Moons
Deep Engagement on TikTok
So it’s obvious Little Moons have gone viral – but how viral? Well…on their most-viewed videos like this one about ‘going to big Tesco in search of Little Moons’, they have a 20%+ engagement rate. This is about 40% higher than other food brands – so you know you’re not just getting passive views on TikTok, but deeper engagement that converts into real-life sales.
Comments on TikTok videos show off how devoted the Little Moons ‘fandom’ is – everyone wants to try them.
Since the ‘Little Moons’ craze has become a bit of a meme, it’s tapped into other trends like ‘ratings’ which encourages user-generated content to be made around the product. The number of videos on Little Moons are up by 19,800% since before January 2021. This shows that TikTok’s audience was able to do Little Moons marketing for them without them having to lift a finger!
Popularity Across The Internet
One of the more appealing consequences of TikTok virality is that it spreads across other networks on the Internet. Google Search Trends are an excellent indicator of interest: since the viral trend kicked off in January 2021, we saw UK searches for ‘Little Moons’ spike, as well as searches for ‘mochi balls’.
Why is this important? It’s a great indicator of people looking for your product – if they’ve bothered enough to Google it, it’s definitely on their minds! It’s also an indicator of interest across other networks, such as Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. This is not the first time we’ve seen viral trends on TikTok transcend its platform and it won’t be the last.
Food Brands on TikTok: It’s Your Turn
The Lockdown Entertainment Network
TikTok saw a huge rise in popularity over lockdown: TV regulator OFCOM saw UK TikTok visitors more than double in the first lockdown. TikTok now has a nearly 1.2 billion active user base, heavily weighted towards Gen Z and millennials. Firstly, this makes TikTok a great network for brands who need to appeal to younger markets, or reach global audiences.
Secondly, TikTok is the go-to for food trends: especially as the nation struggles with lockdown fatigue. We’re baking, cooking, ‘taking away’ and ordering food a lot more than we used to, and TikTok is a huge source of inspiration for the food we cook, eat, order or purchase.
There are serious opportunities on TikTok – not just for ‘viral moments’ but for lasting brand awareness and conversion to sales. While we saw millions of views and likes on Little Moons videos, we also saw triple digit increases in sales.
Gen Z is Primed for Food Brand Discovery
There’s never been a better time for food brands to capitalize on TikTok. Lockdown has turned supermarket trips into ‘adventures’ and mealtimes into sources of excitement. There’s memes floating around about ‘getting dressed up to go to the grocery store’, or ‘going to big Tesco just to feel something’. This means Gen Z is primed to discover food brands, whether that’s ordering in from somewhere new, or buying something that’s already existed for years at a supermarket.
Finally, it’s important to remember that Little Moons was already an established brand – they’ve had a stand in Bond Street station and Selfridges for years. So, it’s not that this viral trend and popularity was generated due to new launch hype. What does this tell us? That TikTok can take an already established brand and change its interpretation amongst younger audiences, and your brand could be next!
Our Successful Food Brand Campaigns on TikTok
We’re Gen Z and TikTok experts here at Fanbytes – we know how to create and prolong viral moments for food brands. We’ve done this before, so we’re sharing key insights across our previous successful campaigns for food brands on TikTok.
Burger King Gone Vegan?! Taking the Meat Out of the Famous Whopper
If there was a single food predominantly associated with meat…it’s burgers. And if there’s one place we think of when we say ‘burgers’ it’s Burger King! So how do you take such an established meat-heavy brand, and make it appeal to vegans?
The fast food giant came to us for brand awareness ahead of launching their ‘Plant-Based Whopper’. We knew this was the right time for them, since Gen Z regularly show interest in vegan TikTok food trends and recipes. What’s more, with climate issues and sustainability in front of mind, over a third of Gen Z want to be meat free by 2021.
So, we activated our in-house talent network, Bytesized Talent, and set out open-ended briefs for content that would resonate with Gen Z. Since they’re Gen Z themselves, they knew exactly how to create impactful content for a meat-free generation dabbling in veganism. We had huge success, with over 2.1 million views, 422k likes and a 14.4% TikTok engagement rate.
Making Mashed Potatoes A Hot Product
Idahoan Foods produces high-quality instant mashed potato products. They recognized a need for brand awareness within Gen Z and reached out to us to organize a campaign. Our two-part campaign focused on bringing in 14 influencers to create choreographed custom danced challenges based around the famous 1960’s ‘Mashed Potato Dance’. This trend was bound to go viral: it was catchy, easy to duplicate and put the brand’s products front and center.
We then featured influencers eating the product, giving them full creative control over the style and content of their videos.
This two-part campaign had incredible results, leading to 14.1 million views, 2.8 million likes and a whopping 20.1% engagement rate…all for instant mashed potatoes!
Could Your Food Brand Be Next?
At Fanbytes, we’ve turned viral moments into an exact science. Your food brand could be next, enjoying the same huge sales impact as Little Moons or Idahoan Foods. Get in touch with us to find out how we can impact your brand.