Why Instagram and Food Go So Well Together

Compare this:
“Savour the sweetness of the crayfish and the chewiness of the cheesy ravioli, all immersed in our special house-made white cream sauce. From now till 31st Oct, enjoy 15% off your bill with every plate of crayfish ravioli ordered!”

To this:

Instagram Caption

Which one appeals to you more?
Well, the answer is simple:
A picture speaks a thousand words.

Let’s look at a few reasons to explain this phenomena on Instagram:

Emotional Tangibility

An image of a gourmet dish stands out among a sea of selfies and ootds in our Instagram feeds. Somehow, food just draws our attention and stimulates our salivary glands. The photo ignites the thought of wanting to try the dish, so we start having cravings. And before you even know it, you end up checking in at that exact restaurant a couple of days later…

Indeed, good presentation leaves an impression, so visual appeals work on Instagram. But what leaves a lasting memory, is the taste. This is precisely done on Instagram, as businesses are able to share photos of their nicely plated dishes or even videos of their dishes (hint: chocolate sauce flowing out of lava cake or golden yellow sauce flowing out of the salted egg yolk bun). All of these are done to tug at the heartstrings of customers, so that they will eventually visit the restaurant and end up converting to become regular customers.


Instagram provides a platform for photos and short videos to be taken on-the-go and posted instantly. Interestingly, photos generate more engagement than videos on Instagram. In particular, photos with location tags on Instagram generate 79% more engagement than those without.

As such, companies can make use of this information to promote their food business. For example, a lunch time promotional photo can be uploaded during the lunch period to attract customers to dine at their restaurants. Likewise, businesses can make use of this to reach out to the public for instant redemption of coupons, promotion codes and even for live event marketing. This spontaneity and urgency adds an increased level of interaction between customers and businesses, thus making customers feel a personal connection with the business.


With Instagram, companies can reach out not only to their followers, but also to other Instagram users when relevant hashtags are used. There are over 186 million #food photos, and 97 million #foodporn photos on Instagram. Anyone who searches for the hashtag will be able to see these photos as long as the account is public. This is also a great chance for businesses to come up with fascinating hashtags that will create buzz, and also allow them to build their brand and create a differentiated brand image for themselves.

In addition, food is usually related to one’s culture and customs. With the advent of food tourism, Instagram is another outlet for food businesses to gain traction. Travellers tend to plan their itineraries to include “must-eat” and “must-try” items. As eateries, restaurants or chefs post images of their kitchen adventures on Instagram, interesting captions and portrayals of food can be used to capture this bunch of travel foodies. Over time, this can also become another form of competitive advantage for businesses.

To sum up, Instagram is a viable platform for food businesses to reach out to the masses due to its emphasis on visual content. By sharing aesthetically pleasing photos and videos, people will be drawn towards food that looks good and be more inclined towards learning about the company and people who are behind these dishes.

Find out more about other social media platforms and whether you are marketing on the right one, here.


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