Tastemade co-founder Steven Kydd probably said it the best: “Food is universal.” Doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, food is one of the few things in this world which has the ability to create links between disparate groups of people.
This is because food is also a passion. We all love to share what we love to eat. How often is it that you’ve discovered a new restaurant, or even just a new dish, and have felt the need to share it with your friends and family? You’ve lost count, right? There’s a good chance you have, and that’s probably because we now have the ability to connect with others in ways that don’t require having to dial the phone.
“The foodie community is constantly finding new ways to connect with fellow food enthusiasts across a variety of digital mediums,” says Alex Jacobs, VP/group director, social, DigitasLBi. “From sharing recipes to reviews of new restaurants or showing off home-cooked creations, food enthusiasts and even everyday people find common ground in culinary experiences.”
When it comes to YouTube, where anyone can voice their passion, this means a community of users who love food so much that they don’t sit idly by and just watch food content, they create their own. And often, this content is made in a format that reflects who the foodie-creator is. In other words, food channels on YouTube can be about food, or they can be about something more. For instance, Jimmy Wong loves food, but he’s also a massive pop-culture geek, so obviously he’d combine both passions into a successful show like “Feast of Fiction.”
“This poses an opportunity for marketers not just in the restaurant business, but lifestyle brands as well,” says Jacobs. “What, where, and with whom we eat defines us as individuals and as a culture — and our closest social relationships are often formed around a dinner table.”
So let’s take a look at the YouTube dinner table. Specifically, let’s see which food-creators are rising fast and are well on their way to building close, influential relationships with their fans. Here are the top five emerging food/cooking channels on YouTube, as determined by data from Digitas LBi and YouTube analytics company Outrigger Media’s Emerging Talent Tracker tool.
- SlateScore: 333
- Subs: 8,107
- Monthly Views: 23,220
The Food Heaven Show channel on YouTube features dietician Jessica Jones and nutrition-obsessed Wendy Lopez hosting a variety of shows focused on delicious and affordable eating. As both hosts hold Master’s degrees in Nutrition Science, you can trust that the channel’s content will help point you towards a healthy lifestyle. With Tastemade as the channel’s network partner, Food Heaven Show brings you shows like “Kitchen Cosmetics” and “Immunity Boost.” If you’re looking for the opposite of an “Epic Meal Time,” this channel is for you.
- SlateScore: 350
- Subs: 5,238
- Monthly Views: 135,210
This channel showcases traditional Chinese recipes. The host, a young woman named Josephine, sometimes includes the recipes written out next to her videos. The step-by-step format used on the channel makes for easy-to-follow videos so you can recreate Josephine’s recipes in your own kitchen. With just over 5,000 subscribers so far, EverydayPossible should gain more by virtue of the general love of dim sum alone.
- SlateScore: 377
- Subs: 10,863
- Monthly Views: 73,560
To quote the channel’s subtitle, The Squishy Monster shows viewers how to make tasty treats from “cupcakes to traditional Korean food and everything in between.” That encompasses a whole lot of dishes, from “Breaking Bad Blue Glass Candy” to mochi ice cream and bacon cheese fritters. The channel’s Korean star goes by the name “Squishy Monster” and displays series like “Throwback Thursdays,” in which she brings back the best shows from her old channel (just “The Squishy Monster” without the TSM). Her other series focus on separate foodie categories (i.e. “Soup,” “Seafood,” “Drinks”) and outline some seriously delicious recipes.
- SlateScore: 520
- Subs: 50,274
- Monthly Views: 551,790
This channel is in German, but the scrumptious-looking culinary footage here translates across all languages. The food explored on FoodGloss ranges from churros to quinoa to champagne mousse.
- SlateScore: 537
- Subs: 63,472
- Monthly Views: 182,473
You may or may not remember her from MTV’s “The Hills,” but former reality television star Lo Bosworth now has her own YouTube channel. Named after herself, the Lo Bosworth channel showcases the host’s exploration of NYC as well as her cooking. One of Bosworth’s series chronicles her adventures in culinary school while others are more clothes and beauty-focused. Her cooking demos in New York might just be more fun to watch than her life on the West Coast.
* All data as of February 26.