What the best food creators do to grow their audience.

Sharing a meal is as ancient a ritual as they come. Connecting over food with one another, no matter our individualities or backgrounds brings us closer together creating those meaningful social experiences that we value so highly. 
Food satisfies such a basic need that it permeates the rest of our lives, including our cultural practices, norms, celebrations, health and wellbeing and this is a major reason why we feel so compelled to engage with food based content.

At adash,  our
mission is to make it as easy as possible to connect accomplished Creators of Great food to avid consumers of it. With the Creator Economy just getting started we see a world where no matter your likes, dislikes, dietaries, or allergies you will be able to find an expert Food Content Creator or two just for you.

So, if you’re a foodie, cook, chef, mukbang vlogger, competitive eater, restaurant reviewer, food stylist or photographer – or someone planning to become a food content creator – then you’re in the right place.

This blog outlines what five successful food content creators did to grow their audience thats noting should you want to chart the same path to culinary greatness. By empowering the next generation of Food Content Creators to do what they love well, we can help deliver on our mission to spread the joy of cooking across the world. It's a win win! 

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Molly Baz

According to Molly Baz’s homepage, she’s a ‘cook, recipe developer, video host, cookbook author, weenie lover and Caesar salad enthusiast with a lifelong love of cooking, eating and teaching other people how to cook.’ She wrote a bestselling cookbook called ‘Cook This Book’ published in April 2021. Molly has her own website and Instagram page where she has around 680,000 followers - so she must be doing something right? 

On Instagram, although her first ever post was uploaded in 2010, she only began posting mostly food-related content around the year 2015.

Videos on her website show her in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen (a very effective partnership that has allowed her to gain her own followers from theirs) whipping up a large variety of recipes and even venturing into survival cooking.

Collaborations are king: Molly was featured on the Drew Barrymore Show in May 2021 and collaborated with Bon Appetit’s Andy Baraghani at Gastro Magic in 2019 - which saw significant spikes in her follower numbers across Instagram at the time. She also collaborates regularly with other cooks from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen.

Variety of Brand Deals: Molly has worked with different brands, such as Crate and Barrell, Lofi Aperitifs, Eat Banza, Cointreau US, Cedar’s Foods, Thrive Market and many others which has helped expose her to these brands followers over time. 

High Social Post Frequency and Engagement: Molly usually uploads new posts (photos and videos) on a weekly basis (averaging 2.2 per week). Brand deal videos on her Instagram page are expected to be heavily promoted, so there’s a huge spike in the number of video views. With an engagement rate of 4% Molly is in the top 30% for Creators with over 250k followers. Her YouTube videos published on the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen almost always get more than a million views and have clearly played a huge part in 

Mollys rise in popularity. If you are looking for eyeballs, Youtube is well aligned for food content with users on the search for the next recipe video for inspiration & often going to Youtube to try and find it. 

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Molly Baz

Julia Ostro

Julia Busuttil Nishimura or @juliaostro on Instagram is a cook, author and teacher based in Melbourne. Her Maltese upbringing and experience living in Italy is the single greatest influence on her cooking.

She has written two bestselling cookbooks, namely ‘Ostro’ and ‘A Year of Simple Family Food’. She regularly holds cooking workshops and pasta master classes. She’s also a regular contributor to publications like The Design Files, Country Style Magazine, ABC and Good Food.

Julia has over 100,000 Instagram followers and nearly 2,600 followers on her recently launched YouTube. Although she has a Facebook account and Pinterest page, she only has a minimal following on these platforms. Her recipe choices are eclectic, and her Instagram posts on food are interspersed with snapshots of her family life.

Interestingly, she only has one recipe featured on her website as she reserves the majority of them for her YouTube audience and cook books.

Collaborations: A notable spike in popularity came when Julia collaborated with Free to Feed’s Cook in Residence, Hamed Allahyari, in 2017.

Brand Deals: Julia’s brand partnerships include Koko Black Chocolate, Square Space, Australian Eggs and Bar Romantica.

Post Frequency and Engagements: Although Julia doesn’t seem to have a rigid posting schedule, she usually has new content uploaded every week. On Instagram, her posts include a mix of food and family photos, whilst on YouTube, she posts videos of her cooking certain recipes.

With an average of 8 posts per week Julia has an average engagement rate of 1.2% for her segment of 50k to 250k followers.

TDF+TT+Ostro24084Julia Ostro

Liv Kaplan

Liv Kaplan is a content creation and recipe development professional, as well as a holistic nutritionist and cook. On her website, the services offered are listed as photography and recipe development, as she has created recipes for brands like Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, 28 By Sam Wood, Vitamix, Bondi Harvest and others.

On Instagram, Liv currently has over 25,000 followers. And, considering she only has a four-year-old page there, she’s getting some pretty decent engagement, especially when she posts recipes with her food photos.

Liv also has a YouTube channel but her last post was last year, so her primary social media platform of choice appears to be Instagram and TikTok where she has over a 90,000 followers.

Brand Deals: Liv has helped promote several brands on her Instagram page, namely Melrose Health, Lakanto Australia, How We Roll Co., Nimble Activewear, Composta Australia and Seed & Sprout.

Post Frequency and Engagements: Most of Liv’s posts on Instagram are food and lifestyle-related materials uploading an average of 2.8 posts per week.

Liv has an engagement rate of almost 2% which is strong for her segment as well as boasting a comments/likes ration of 4.4 which is in the top 30% in the 15k to 50k follower segment.

image-assetLiv Kaplan

Doobydobap (Tina Choi)

Tina Choi, aka Doobydobap, is a South Korean food blogger with 452,000 Instagram followers although her page there is only about two years old. On YouTube, she has 388,000 subscribers, 2.8 million TikTok followers, and 2,400 followers on Pinterest. Safe to say Tina is killing it!

She also has her own website where you can access her recipes (some recipes also appear on Instagram) and buy merchandise, such as shirts and aprons. On Tina’s website, she describes herself as a content creator, recipe developer and food scientist.

Collaborations: Tina collaborated with Chef Nick Di Giovanni, she has a lot of food vlogs with her mom and sometimes with her friends as well.

Post Frequency and Engagements: Tina doesn’t appear to follow a strict content posting schedule, posting an average of 0.8 times per week on Instagram. However her YouTube and TikTok (3.8 videos per week) pages are more heavily loaded.

With an Instagram engagement rate of 2.3% and an average comments/likes ratio of 1.1 it appears that the main focus for Tina lies on her TikTok with an engagement rate of 19.2% and 1.6m views per video.

Screen Shot 2021-11-03 at 11.08.09 am @doobydobap 's

Jessica in the Kitchen

Jessica HL or @jessicainthekitchen, a vegan content creator, has over 168,000 followers on Instagram.

According to her website, she’s an award-winning photographer, videographer and chef who has been cooking and blogging for over a decade. Aside from featuring hundreds of vegan recipes, her website also includes an online shop where cooking enthusiasts can purchase supplies and kitchen essentials.

Aside from her Instagram page, Jessica also has dedicated accounts or pages on Facebook (227,000 followers), Pinterest (46,600 followers), YouTube (11,800 subscribers) and Twitter (4,734 followers).

Brand Deals: Some of Jessica’s brand partnerships include Chobani, Nurishh, Birds Eye Vegetables, Dave's Killer Bread, Mission Avocados and NW Cherry Growers.

Post Frequency and Engagements: Jessica posts on Instagram an average of 3.1 posts per week and usually posts multiple times in week. She sometimes includes recipes on her Instagram posts for her fans however most traffic is driven to her website.

With an engagement rate of 1.8% and a comments/likes ratio of 2.5 Jessica sits in the middle of the 50k to 250k segment for engagement.
Jessica doubled her Instagram following in May 2020 and has kept a steady increase in her following since.

Screen Shot 2021-11-03 at 11.12.45 am@jessicainthekitchen's

Food Content Creation Success Formula

Although the featured food content creators started their digital content career journeys at different times, they all share a common passion for food – a crucial ingredient of success.

Other factors that contribute to their flourishing food content creation paths include:

  • Posting consistently
  • Topic relevance
  • High-quality, engaging content, i.e., high-res images, well-edited videos and personable copy
  • Strong follower or subscriber engagement through likes and comments
  • Use of humour
  • Business savvy and partnering with the right brands

So, if you’re just starting out as a food content creator, take a page out of the books of these accomplished individuals and set yourself up for success, too. Keep an eye out on the adash socials for further insight on becoming a food content creator as we build a community of foodies where everyone is rewarded for what they bring to the table. After all food should bring people together.