Up until now, food blogging was considered a fine art. With high quality pictures and videos, instagrammable settings and professionally put together food. But the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront bloggers that are following none of these.
Many have stimulated their hidden chefs during the lockdown as they tried their hands at exploring new recipes while stuck at home. Social media has seen a rise of such amateur and raw food bloggers who took to digital platforms to share their experiences. Likewise, there has also been an increase in audience for such unfiltered food bloggers and blogs.
By end of May 2020, Youtube had seen a rise by almost 95% in searches for easy, quick and healthy recipes. While this rise is evident of an increased audience interested in food blogs, it also opened gateways for the inexperienced food bloggers to venture into this space.
Food bloggers are known to explore new cuisines and food stations, post aspirational dishes which are aesthetically presented and provide mouth watering recipes that are often exquisite and unique in their own ways. However, the lockdown put a limit to all of this as people were confined to homes and exercising strict social distancing norms. This brought about a changed landscape in the food blogging industry.
The pandemic aroused a greater interest in healthy eating with people focussing on consuming nutrient-rich food. However, restricted operations led to lack of availability of vegetables and ingredients. Confined at home, people were cooking more often than before and therefore exploring quick and easy recipes that did not always involve extensive cooking.
All of this gave rise to a new breed of local, unfiltered and amateur food bloggers who satiated these newly evolved preferences. These bloggers are aware of their follies and don’t try to hide or “edit” them in their videos. Rather, these quirks are what garner more viewers and followers. Struggling to operate kitchen gadgets, frying disasters, mixing up with ingredients – they all are very much a part of the content that floats.
These absurdities are what makes these food blogs honest and relatable by the audience. They are often humorous with the blogger providing background commentary in a vernacular language. It brings out true and unrefined content that is fresh for the viewer. These food bloggers focus majorly on regular dishes that we eat in our daily course rather than anything exotic. This helps them attract local viewership and gain popularity.
Naturally, brands have taken note of the trend with many capitalising on this opportunity. Kraft, Coca-Cola, Amul and Dabur are some brands whose products are often spotted in these food blogs. This trend of sourcing and eating local food has boosted marketing efforts by brands in regional markets. In a time of scarcity in availability of ingredients, brands who caught up with this trend have established a strong hold in the local market as compared to their competitors.
These home-chefs turned food bloggers provide an intimate feel in their videos that catch the attention of their viewers. It provides an honest perspective to food and goes down to the local level which people can refer to on a regular basis. Not only is this becoming popular with brands but these local bloggers are also gaining more traction over their professional counterparts.
However, many argue that this rise may not sustain once normalcy sets in again. Local food blogging might take a backseat again once restaurants and cafes open, essentially indicating that this rise is only temporary. Whether it is here to stay or not can only be known in the coming few months as lockdown restrictions are gradually easing.
It can be a new evolution in food blogging.
Photo Credits: Ware Innovations (https://www.wareinnovations.com/)