The Dish Works 2024 Social Media Trend Forecast for Culinary Brands

Content marketing experts have different strategies and approaches to social media, but can pretty much all agree on one common thing: Social media — and the rules on how to use it most effectively — are constantly changing. Our clients often ask us what to expect next from these shape-shifting platforms, so we thought we’d share a handful of our 2024 predictions, with a special focus on food content and CPG content for culinary brands.  

We’ll start with this TikTok video from creator and social media strategist Jack Wize of Wize Agency:


Our thouhhts/predicctions for Social Media & Trends 2024 and beyond.

♬ Beat – beaty

Jack makes a lot of great points about what may lie ahead in the often foggy social media landscape, including:

  • The evolution of influencer marketing: less “hard” selling and more casual product placement.
    • For our food brand clients, that may require a shift in strategy. Instead of requiring that influencers market grocery, CPG or cookware products in a traditional, straightforward way, they’ll need to let organic product placement happen. This will have to be just part of a bigger content strategy, which includes owned content that positions brands to be the authority on their food-and-beverage products. This might look like an influencer making a recipe with a brand’s product, but never mentioning it by name; the brand will then need to balance that with their own recipes which will more clearly highlight the product’s attributes.
social media trend forecast
  • More viral potential on TikTok versus Instagram.
    • While this is an interesting take, we’ve recently seen Instagram debut new features which may help creators achieve more virality on that platform. For instance, the expanded collaboration function allows up to three friends to co-author a feed post, carousel, or Reel (formerly it was restricted to two). Music can now be added to carousel posts, Reels templates have been streamlined, and new AI stickers can add fun, customized touches to stories and DMs. 
    • There are also the new Achievements on Instagram, in-app gamification awards which are earned for milestones, like publishing 500 posts or receiving 1,000 post likes. We have a hunch that the Instagram algorithm may reward high Achievers with more viral potential.
  • User-Generated Content will continue to grow.
    • We agree with this prediction — to a degree. Right now, and probably for the next year, UGC content focused on recipes and food hacks is crushing on most social media platforms. However, we caution brands with limited marketing budgets to not invest all their dollars into UGC. Like all trends, the UGC trend will eventually cool off, and you won’t want to be left with content that’s not evergreen. No matter the size of your budget, it’s a best-practice to develop a diverse selection of assets, as high-quality content is much easier to repurpose down the line than UGC recipes. And, as always, posting multiple types of content is the best way to win “algorithm roulette.” For more on what User-Generated Content is, and how to use it, see here. 
  • Storytelling for brands will be even more important.
    • We advise our clients that when it comes to marketing their brands: Don’t sell —  educate. Instead of trying to sell, fit your content into one of these three buckets: Entertain, Educate or Inspire. One of the reasons influencer marketing is so resonant with social media users is that they are much better at following this guideline than brands are. As Jack points out, people don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to, they want to make their own purchasing decisions.
  • Brands should experiment with still photos and carousels on TikTok.
    • We’ve also seen a rise in non-video posts on TikTok, and can see so much potential for culinary brands to leverage existing assets to share more content on that platform. Fun fact: Dish Works’ clients who receive video assets from us also get low-res stills from the videos included gratis in our video packages. Posting stills to TikTok can be a creative, cost-efficient way to maximize those assets.  
  • Consumers and the algorithm will want even shorter content. 
    • We agree that “bite-sized” content will continue to reign supreme, especially if your goal is to receive the most views possible. Think of these as “moments” which can elicit a smile, or spark curiosity among your followers. These can be higher-level editorial photos or video snippets, or a satisfying sensory delight, like a drizzle of a condiment or a sexy cheese pull.

We eat, breathe and dream food content marketing, and we’re here to create stunning, engaging, versatile assets and content for our clients. Whether that’s trend-forward UGC videos, Influencer-Style videos, snazzy Sizzle Reels for trade shows or custom recipes for your website, our team of professional chefs, art directors, photographers and videographers is ready to bring your vision to life! 

To start a conversation about how Dish Works can help you achieve your brand’s content marketing goals, head here.