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The #Insta effect

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The #Insta effect

The #Insta effect

The colossal impact of social media on the hospitality industry is no secret. Marketing is increasingly moving online, especially when targeting the younger demographics, and most brands will have a Twitter and Facebook account - if not an Instagram and Snapchat as well. But it's becoming clear that social media isn't just affecting who comes into your restaurant, but also what they purchase when there.

Concern around healthy eating is rising across generations. Take a look at Amazon's most popular cookbooks - as of writing, every single book in the top 5 best sellers list is focused on healthy eating. However, younger guests in particular seem to be driving the trend. As BigHospitality recently reported, 47% of Millennials say they've changed their diet for the better over the last year, compared to 35% of 35-54 year olds, and 23% of over 55s.

Furthermore, the different generations have different opinions on what constitutes "healthy" foods. The trend is shifting towards eating more of what is good for you, such as protein and vitamins, and away from restrictive habits like dieting and calorie counting. Recipes that are "fat-free" and "low calorie" have been replaced with ones that are "raw" or "natural" and include superfoods. The emphasis is on eating well, not less.

Millennial's and Gen Z are no longer getting their ideas of health and wellness from parents and schools; instead, they're taking inspiration from social media. The whole #cleaneating movement was born entirely online, and the most popular food hashtags on Instagram include #fresh, #healthy, #paleo, #vegan, and #organic - not a #diet or #lowfat to be seen. Healthy eating food bloggers are growing such huge followings that they're moving offline and making the transition to traditional mainstream media, writing cookbooks, hosting TV shows, and even opening up their own restaurants.

All hospitality operators are concerned with making their products visually appealing, and the importance of creating Instagram-friendly food and drinks has grown alongside the website's popularity. However, as the concept of healthy eating begins to change, operators will want to give as much thought to the language used to describe their dishes as they do to the presentation of them.

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