TikTok, the fastest way on earth to become a food star

Eitan BernasThe 19-year-old TikTok star, with over 1.6 million followers, began posting culinary content on the platform in 2019. Like many Generation Z TikTok chefs, he learned to cook by watching YouTube and the Food Network. He shared what he made on Instagram, but it didn’t get much attention.

But within 24 hours of posting the first TikTok, he gained tens of thousands of followers. Cheerful, cheerful and friendly, Bernard began sharing short, easy-to-make recipes that other novice cooks and his teenagers could make at home. The video took off.

“TikTok is the biggest thing that happened to me in my career and, to be honest, that’s why I’m here today,” he said.

When TikTok was officially introduced in the United States in 2018 (already very popular around the world), the app was synonymous with lip-sync and dance challenges. However, in early 2020, when millions of people were trapped in their homes during quarantine and cooking became entertainment, food content exploded on the platform.Video with hashtag #TikTokFood With a total of 25.2 billion views, the app regularly triggers the following viral food booms: Whipped coffee The pasta dish of grilled feta cheese and tomato is currently “TikTok pasta.. A video that introduces how to make 3 ingredient oleo cake It has been viewed more than 42.1 million times.

TikTok has also spawned a new generation of culinary stars who often showcase recipes they find online, rather than developing their own recipes, without spending years in professional kitchens and shiny food magazines. .. They became famous very quickly on the internet.

“What sets TikTok apart from other platforms is the speed of scale,” said Eunice Shin, head of media and entertainment for growth strategy firm Prophet. “If something spreads by word of mouth, it can have zero to millions of followers in a few months. If you’re on the traditional track, it’s really hard to do.”

No one has seized this opportunity as quickly as Gen Z members. “The trend we’re aware of is that young talent is making a name for themselves as a result of adopting the platform,” said Jad Dayeh, Head of Digital Media. Endeavor, top talent agency.

Many Gen Z stars at FoodTok wonder why everyone pays for a tough restaurant job when they can build their own brand online, as the app calls it the food community. Others have left the restaurant business to pursue a full-time career as a content creator. Others are making money through TikTok’s creator fund. The fund pays content creators based on the number of times they watch a video and makes money through advertising transactions and sponsorship.

Creators of TikTok can make money anywhere from a few dollars to millions of dollars. TikTok star Addison Easter RingAccording to the creator of lifestyle content, 2020 alone will make more than $ 5 million. Forbes report. Tabisa Brown, Vegan chefHas attracted more than 4.7 million followers on TikTok and released her first book of inspiring personal stories. Christian PaulAn Atlanta-based bakery with over 1.3 million followers on TikTok has created its own line of chocolate bars.

Some up-and-coming food creators say they have already created six numbers. Ultimately, they want to build their own business, such as launching a kitchenware line, publishing cookbooks, and opening restaurants. What they don’t want is to work for someone else.

Many say the lack of traditional training is an important part of their success.

“Looking at the main people in the traditional food media, they are all classic trained or restaurant chefs. They have a lot to offer and are knowledgeable in cooking, but Tik Tok I think it’s more relevant what you do in Generation Z and teach people how to cook. The feedback I always hear is, “If this 18-year-old Eitan could cook this very easily. , I can do it too. “

All platforms are pioneering new types of viral food content. Facebook and BuzzFeed Tasty have led the era of easy-to-understand recipes created by a pair of bodyless hands. YouTube provided a home for more complex recipes and a 20-minute cooking blog. Instagram has a camera-compatible viral treat, Cronut And Ramen burger..

If TikTok is the mainstream food video format, it’s a camera leaned against the counter when a person cooks in front of you. It’s as if my friends are doing Face Timing while they’re making dinner. As a result, you can easily follow casual and personalized cooking clips. Most TikTok cooks are people preparing food in their kitchen, and it’s common for friends and family to jump into the frame.

“Recipes that are popular on word-of-mouth on other social platforms are visually appealing. You drool them, but never make them,” he said. Ahmad Al Zahabi, 24, TikTok Foodstar, Flint, Michigan, with over 3.7 million followers. “TikTok has allowed people to record what they made at home, a family gathering. It doesn’t have to look good.”

Creating content is also very easy with TikTok. Users upload videos up to 1 minute long and set those videos to audio. Add fun effects such as title cards, captions, zoom and face warp. Editing YouTube videos requires knowledge of third-party editing software, but shooting, editing, and posting to TikTok are all easy from your mobile phone. With TikTok, power users can organize their videos into collections such as “pie recipes” and “supper ideas” and provide features such as livestreaming to keep fans interested.

But it’s the app’s algorithms that make it easier than ever to create a food sensation overnight. In TikTok, the main way users consume videos is to use the “For You” page. This is a feed of content programmed with an algorithm based on what the user has watched or participated in in the past. When a user starts viewing and interacting with content, it has the snowball effect of serving more and more of that type of content to that user. For example, if the algorithm determines that you like Mexican food, you will see more cooking videos in that area.

This algorithmic content delivery system allows users to dig deep into the rabbit and program a feed full of niche culinary content. There are seemingly endless videos dedicated to all dietary restrictions, regions and cultures, including vegan food, keto-friendly recipes, North African street food, and Midwestern food.

For food creators, the resulting growth is explosive.

Just as FoodTikTok took off during a pandemic, many top TikTok cooks got off to a start when they got stuck in quarantine at home. HarevernsAtlanta’s TikTok Food Creator, with over 191.8 million followers, began making soothing vegan cooking videos last spring. “I had nothing else to do, so I started making food videos,” she said. A year later, with her relaxed rhythmic video, fans called her “Cooking Bob Ross.. “

Brandon Skier, 28, started a cooking channel on TikTok under the name “”.Sad Papi“After the restaurant where he worked in Los Angeles was closed for Covid-19. Unlike many of his younger peers, Skier attends a cooking school and teaches people how to use traditional cooking skills to cook a five-star meal at home. But in the true TikTok way, he makes the recipe familiar to beginners. “It’s fine food and technique, like hanging out in a friend’s kitchen,” he said.

Skier also Hedley & Bennett, A popular apron brand. He has no plans to return to cooking in the restaurant kitchen.

Some TikTok cooks have already moved to Hollywood. Bernath signed the utility Endeavor last year and in December he Participated in “The Drew Barrymore Show”As a resident culinary expert in the program.

Bernath has also upgraded his kitchen since he found stardom. He recently rented a large loft in downtown Manhattan for video recording. This is a big step forward from New Jersey’s former home kitchen. “I own my own production company and have expanded over the last six months, so I now have three full-time staff to help promote and create all the content,” he says. I did. He plans to continue hiring more staff every few months.

Newton NguyenThe 22-year-old TikTok food creator, with over 6.9 million followers, recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue social media stardom full-time. He said he would like to make his own food travel show, “probably a cookbook” someday. A good kitchen was the key while looking for his apartment. “I had a list, and the best thing was a very nice kitchen,” he said. “I don’t know if I saw my old TikToks, but I used to live in a mobile home. My kitchen was very small.”

Accessibility is important among young TikTok cooks. Food creators said they wanted to tell viewers that anyone could cook delicious food, regardless of background or budget. “TikTok has created space for highly achievable food,” he said. Betina Macarintal, Vice Food and Culture Staff Writer.

Many find recipes on social media and other websites and integrate cooking tips from platforms such as Reddit and Snapchat into their videos. “Most of my recipes come from the internet,” Nguyen said. “Find something interesting in your friend’s Instagram story.”

Alzahabi said Gen Z’s TikTok food star is also “a little more creative in the kitchen”, cooking and blending dishes from different cultures on a daily basis. (Some (but not all) TikTok cooks acknowledge the cultural origin of cooking in the comments section of the video.)

“I think older generations, they are very cookie cutters,” he said. “If you want to make a recipe, they think there is a specific way to make it. In this younger generation, especially in America, where all cultures are mixed, all these cultures and ethnicities are combined. I think there is a new kind of insane food. “

Some people start their own channels as fans become better at cooking. Skier said that thanks to TikTok, new names for food are emerging every day.

“The couple I’m friends with is in the process of blasting and they started a month ago,” he said. “If you make good content and good food, you can blow it up too.”

TikTok, the fastest way on earth to become a food star

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