TikTok Food Challenges: How Brands Can Get Involved

TikTok food challenges are growing on the platform and now is the perfect time for food brands to get involved. How? We’ll take you through the best ways to get started.
Fanbytes | TikTok Food Challenges

In 30 seconds:

  • TikTok is fast becoming the number one social media app for food brands, but what makes it so brilliant for cooking up good content?
  • We’ve popped down our top tips on how your brand can get involved in TikTok food challenges in 2022.
  • Food trends. How do you know what’s going to be booming? Get ready to find out the top themes to look out for in 2022.

#TikTokfood has over 53 billion views on the platform. Creators are rustling up fast, flavoursome, fearless dishes across TikTok, and it’s becoming the go-to app for viral food challenges

In fact, the TikTok hashtag #foodchallenge has racked up over 5.7 billion views and counting. This presents a golden opportunity for food brands seeking better brand awareness amongst younger consumers. Understanding how to get your brand involved with TikTok food trends and challenges is key to cooking up target-nailing marketing strategies over and over again.

So let’s talk about the delicious impact of TikTok food.

What makes TikTok food different?

Food challenges have become increasingly popular on TikTok, and it’s easy to see why. TikTok does simplicity well. Unlike the more polished, harder-to-achieve aesthetic of Instagram, TikTok creators can hop on TikTok food challenges armed with just a pan, spoon and their phone to make mouthwatering videos their audience loves. 

Your brand can do the same. 

TikTok food videos are genuine, educational and above all, easy to follow. They include handy ingredients and go against the status quo with exciting new adaptations of old recipe favourites. 

The individuality of these videos is what draws most to them. 79% of users find content on TikTok to be unique or different, which is the key to getting results. Food brands should be thinking outside of the box when reaching for their kitchen utensils.

TikTok food marketing is also highly impactful. 65% of TikTok content creators have visited or ordered food from a restaurant or supermarket after viewing videos on TikTok. This transition from views to action will have marketers cooking with gas. 

Who’ll be watching TikTok food challenges in 2022?

In the last month alone, over 40% of internet users in the UK have browsed pictures of food or watched food videos on social media. But one age group loves sinking their teeth into new trending dish videos more than any other: Gen Z 

Gen Z continues to play a vital role for food brands everywhere. 57% of Gen Z are interested in learning about food and drink online, which is higher than any other demographic, and with over 60% of TikTok users being part of this age group, jumping on TikTok food challenges and boosting brand awareness on the platform is essential for reaching Gen Z. 

Fanbytes Brand Partnerships Manager, Lola Randles says “Mostly when it comes to trends – and food trends specifically – they’re fun and easy to get involved with. But for a generation who spends 4.5 hours of their day on social media, many of whom are creators themselves, Gen Zers feel an additional need to become part of a trend to remain relevant.”

“From what I’ve seen, Gen Z are particularly susceptible to making purchases as a result of food trends that they’re seeing on TikTok. We are now living through an era where aligning your food or drinks brand with a social media trend can lead to record sales.”

So, we know that Gen Z has a whopping $44 billion spending power, and food is at the top of their priority list. How can your food brand get a nice juicy slice of the action? 

How can your brand get involved with TikTok food challenges?

TikTok is the trendsetting app. Practically any food or drink trend you can think of that has gone viral amongst Gen Z started on the platform (Dalgona coffee or feta pasta anyone?). If you want to get young people interested in cooking with or eating your products, TikTok is the place to start.

How do challenges work on TikTok? Simple. Someone will create an easy recipe, dance or piece of entertainment that other people can learn from and repeat. For food there are several ways for brands to get involved with TikTok food challenges and trends – so let’s go through them. 

1. Start a TikTok food challenge

If you want to show off your product, it’s time to put your apron on and whip up a TikTok food challenge trend. Branded hashtag challenges are a fantastic way to create user-generated content (UGC). 93% of people find UGC helpful when making purchase decisions, so getting a chain reaction started will boost your brand awareness and add value for your customers. 

How to do it:

  • Send a clear message. Create content that’s punchy, true to your ethos, on-trend and understanding of your audience. 
  • Make it fun. TikTok’s biggest viewed hashtag is #entertainment with 535 billion views, so keep your videos exciting and enjoyable. Don’t forget your food challenge has to be easy to replicate.
  • Make it discoverable. Use trending audio to increase your chances of being seen and make sure to add relevant hashtags like #tiktokfood and #foodchallenge. Don’t forget to create a specific hashtag for your challenge too. We talk you through how to create a viral hashtag here

Food brands have multiple routes when it comes to setting up a TikTok food challenge. They can opt to create simple food recipes and challenge TikTokers to try it themselves. They can also create fun videos featuring their food products and challenge TikTokers to create their own, similar short videos. Great examples of these are tutorials, “unboxing” style videos with ASMR-style original sound, games and dances.

NOTE: If you want to see an amazing example of how trending audio can create a TikTok phenomenon take a look at the #fooddance challenge. This TikTok food challenge song is completely catchy, and the dance that goes with it is equally fun.

Who did it well?

Idahoan foods’ instant mashed potatoes were sold-out of almost every supermarket at the beginning of the pandemic. Being new to TikTok, they wanted to take this opportunity to increase brand awareness on the platform and show people how to use up their cupboard potatoes. We worked with them to create a dance challenge (#mashoutchallenge) that incorporated leading influencers dancing to a custom sound based on the famous 1960s ‘Mashed Potato Dance’.

@madi I’m addicted to these @idahoanfoods mashed potatoes 🥔🥔 Try the #mashoutchallenge #newchallenge #ad ♬ original sound - Idahoan Foods

Did it work? With 14.1 million views, 2.8 million likes and a 20.1% engagement rate, that’s a resounding yes. Incorporating dance challenges within a strategy is an effective way of injecting fun into your TikTok content, so roll your sleeves up and get creating for your next campaign.

2. Jump on a TikTok food trend

Food trends come and go, so when they’re around it’s crucial to get involved as early as possible. Staying in touch with the latest trends will help you know what’s new, so engage with other creators and keep an eye on the platform. People will search for specific trending challenges so getting on board with one is a great way to boost your visibility on TikTok.

How to do it:

  • Be active. Interact with other creators and watch your For You Page to see what new trends pop up. You can also search for new trends via hashtags to see what’s out there.
  • Master the trend. Copy the trend in your own way and make sure to stay true to your brand. The trend itself doesn’t have to start off as a challenge: if you can leverage an existing trend to turn it into a TikTok food challenge, you’re onto a winner.
  • Make it do more. Put your spin on it and add relevant hashtags to your caption to be seen by others. If you’re leveraging an existing non-challenge trend, use the associated hashtag, then add an additional one that includes the name of the trend and the word “challenge”. 

Who did it well?

Pip & nut showcase their nut butter in a variety of ways on their channel but they know the impact of food trends and got involved. They jumped on the “Apple Nachos” trend, showing one of their flavours as a topping to the recipe video. The content they created is highly visual and makes their product look irresistible. 

We made a similar product go viral on TikTok. “Wanna Date?” date spread aimed to establish their brand on the platform and blow up. 6.6 million views later, and the brand had firmly landed in the TikTok food universe. Take a look at the case study here.

TikTok food trends in your inbox

Want to know the newest trends before anyone else? Fanbytes’ weekly TikTok trends newsletter brings you the latest and greatest the platform has to offer so you can get creating before it becomes a flash in the pan.

Landing in your inbox every Tuesday, it’s the most up-to-date information out there on which TikTok trends are surfacing, and how brands can use them. Recent food trends we’ve spotted include #ASMRfood, #SeasoningThatChicken and #AnimeFood. Sign up via the button below.

3. Use influencers

Establishing your brand in the TikTok food world is all about making an impact. How do you do that?  Influencers. They already have the skills, audience and knowledge to get your food brand in the limelight. Not only this, but a high proportion of Gen Z TikTokers want to emulate influencers. If you want to kick off a new trend or TikTok food challenge, this is a great way to ensure your video is replicated.

How to do it:

  • Find the best talent. Search for influencers that align with your brand. They must stay true to their personality and tastes, so if they love your brand, their followers will too. Need help in finding the right influencer? Check out our info-packed article on how brands can work with influencers here.
  • Create a TikTok food challenge they love. Work with them to establish a trend or challenge that fits your product and put it out to their audience. Influencers know their audience best (after all, this is how they’ve accrued so many followers), so don’t be afraid to hand over creative control.
  • Incorporate influencers in your future strategy. Record your influencer campaign data and use it for potential future partnerships. The most successful brands don’t employ one single influencer campaign – they strategise for multiple “viral moments” so they are always front of mind. 

Who did it well?

Papa Johns UK was new to TikTok and wanted to increase its brand awareness whilst promoting its new dessert menu. Using their dessert “Chocolate Scrolls,” we helped them create the #theyseemescrolling TikTok Food challenge campaign through notable comedic influencers. These creators showed how different types of people would eat the scrummy dessert, leading to over 2 million views and a 14.9% engagement rate. 

Another great example of a food brand doing this well is Little Moons. The mochi ice cream brand worked with influencers to induce “FOMO” (fear of missing out) amongst TikTokers. We wrote more about this and why it worked in our article here

The biggest TikTok food trends

Knowing what went viral in the past can help you plan for what might happen next. All the foodie trends we’re about to mention had certain things in common: they’re novel, visually appealing, quick to make and have minimal ingredients. These elements combined seem to be a recipe for success among the TikTok community.  

1. Cloud bread

This fluffy loaf landed on everyone’s ForYouPage in 2021 for its pretty aesthetic and ultra-spongey consistency. It was only four ingredients to make and definitely had visual appeal.

2. Dalgona Coffee

This whipped sensation took the internet by storm during the pandemic. Again, simple ingredients and a novel technique are key to this sweet treat

3. Baked Feta Pasta

Making pasta in an unconventional way has gotten more and more popular on social media over the last year. This baked pasta dish had feta flying off the shelves and made shops have a shortage of the cheese. 

@feelgoodfoodie Baked feta pasta with cherry tomatoes!! Recipe on blog • Inspired by @grilledcheesesocial 😘 #tiktokpartner #LearnOnTikTok #fetapasta #recipes ♬ original sound - Feel Good Foodie

The future of TikTok Food Challenges in 2022

What kind of viral TikTok trends and TikTok food challenges should you be looking out for this year and beyond? There are a few food themes brands should keep an eye on. 

  • Veganism. 20% of Gen Z are already eating meat-free, and this trend is not likely to disappear. With climate change still very much at the forefront of our day-to-day lives, people will continue looking at changing their diets to be better for the environment. If you can create a Tiktok video or TikTok food challenge around this, you’re onto a winner.
  • Ramen hacks. This trend is already happening, with TikTok creators showing fast and efficient ways to up your ramen game. Consider how you could use your products to elevate TikTokersDIY recipes, or what simple food hacks for you could offer for young people.
  • Healthy eating. Many existing TikTok food trends are sugary, but there’s a perfect opportunity for healthier foods. After the pandemic, many people reevaluated their health and wanted to make beneficial changes. 80% of people over 18 decided to change their lifestyle in 2021 to be healthier. 


No matter what trend hits, your brand’s success on TikTok will depend on you staying up to date. So keep an eye on the food industry on TikTok (and sign up to our TikTok Trends newsletter) and have your spatula at the ready.

Don’t let TikTok food challenges get you in a pickle

Getting involved in food challenges and promoting your brand on TikTok is all about strategy. You don’t want to rush into something and find it’s only half baked, but it’s important that brands don’t take too long to get involved in trends – or they’ll risk missing the boat. If you’re not sure where to begin, we can help. 

For brands wanting to create their own TikTok food challenge, it’s important to get inside the minds of Gen Z. What is it about this challenge that they’ll want to recreate? How can you make sure your message reaches as many people as possible – and resonates with them? Luckily, understanding Gen Z is a huge part of what we do – and we’ve got impressive Tiktok food campaigns under our belt to prove it.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you set up a TikTok food challenge or kick off a new Tiktok food trend, get in touch. We know our way around the food world on TikTok and, more importantly, how to get you on top of it.  

Still looking for some info? We’re dishing out articles on everything you need to know about TikTok, social media and influencer marketing as a food brand. Take a look below for some tasty insights. 

Let's Talk

To find out how Fanbytes can help you connect with a Gen Z Audience fill in the form to get in touch!