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Friday, June 24, 2022

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Mzansi food creators share how TikTok is changing the way we eat

Larnelle Lewies aka @larnelle. Picture: Supplied

Larnelle Lewies aka @larnelle. Picture: Supplied

Published 12h ago

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The digital age has brought on the popularity of cooking videos. TikTok, in particular, with its unparalleled ability to create content that goes viral.

The video-sharing app has been disrupting the food industry to the point of changing the way people eat.

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What are the causes of this success? It is short and simple videos made by ordinary people.

We had a chat with some of South Africa’s food creators on how the platform has taken over the food industry and changed the way we eat and below is what they said.

Larnelle Lewies aka @larnelle

@larnelle Animal style fries 🤤![CDATA[]]>🍟 | cr: @Anna Paul #larnelle #larnellecookin ♬ original sound - larnelle lewies

Larnelle Lewies said the video service has switched up the food industry tremendously. Lewies said whether it be recipe videos, mukbangs, or taste-testing they find so much enjoyment and fulfilment in engaging in these types of content.

Has it changed the way we eat? He said he thinks people are more open to trying out new dishes and interesting food combinations because of those that are “trending”.

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“The hype around these food dishes is what creates this frenzy, that encourages the viewer to want to participate. For example, the trending “TikTok wrap” showed us an innovative way of assembling a wrap, with ingredients that are inexpensive but you’re able to make it look and taste incredible. Others find joy and comfort in watching other people eat (mukbangs) and find themselves open to eating in public spaces or eating larger portions in general, as they might suffer from mental health struggles, anxiety, depression, etc. So, in this way, food content has a massive impact on the digital space or video service,” said Lewies.

Furthermore, he said using video-based platforms, restaurants have gained more and more traction through food reviews, which is great exposure to their brand.

David Mahlangu aka @malumfoodie

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@malumfoodie I hope y’all got the fried rice part 😬![CDATA[]]>😬![CDATA[]]>😬![CDATA[]]>🤭 #malumfoodie #ruraruring ♬ original sound - Malumfoodie

David Mahlangu said TikTok has changed how we consume social media. He said before it was all about filters, perfect quality, and having to show the best parts of who they are as content creators but with this platform, it’s about how relatable you are as a person and the things you offer on the platform.

“With food consumption from my own perspective food trends have adopted how make-up trends works, everyone is looking for an easier way to do something. Short clip cooking videos have these effects that people gravitate towards. It has revolutionised how people see food especially if you are going to show them how things are done. People love exploring but they are too lazy to sit for hours on their phones trying to figure out what works for them. In the case of TikTok people randomly bump into your page and the next thing they have learned is how to tackle pots. So basically, it has made people more aware of what they eat, how to prepare it, and most importantly where to get it,” said Mahlangu.

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Siyanda Maputa @mealsbysiya

@mealsbysiya I feel like this is the only meal that makes sense for this weather 😌#mealsbysiya #umnqusho #xhosarecipes #capetownrain ♬ Phunyuka Bamphethe - Mandoza

Siyanda Maputa said in her experience, TikTok has made so many things open and accessible to people including the food industry.

“Showcasing it and teaching people that food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be good. With it being a popular entertainment network, it allows food brands to reach their consumers on a lighter, more fun level with short videos that are entertaining, direct, and informative. A lot of people have found themselves at home in recent years and TikTok has created a medium for people to create and share recipes broadening awareness around different foods and how to prepare them in new innovative ways,” said Maputa.

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