Social media influencers are shaping the popularity of “clean eating” brands and the trend is set to continue09 February 2018

This article originally appeared in MSN News, by author Caleb Triscari, on 9 February 2018.

The rise of influencers and the popularity of promoting healthy eating through social media is changing how brands successfully interact with consumers, experts say.

Senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Queensland, Dr. Jo Previte, says the rise of “clean eating” has in part occurred because of consumers sharing more and more of themselves online, alongside greater awareness around diets and fitness.

“We’re all being made very conscious of the healthy lifestyle requirements, and there’s been a lot of education about how we should eat better and that we should do more physical activity,” she says.

“What interesting is it’s not the authorities that are starting the conversation, its people like us that we can relate to more to — and relating has been part of the momentum.”

The clean eating movement, which references organic and whole foods, as well as more specific eating plans and products such as gluten-free diets and drinks like kombucha, has a strong presence on highly visual social media platforms like Instagram. Social media “influencers” in these spaces are paid to promote and share certain food or drink products that facilitate this lifestyle, usually by making the products seem like a part of their everyday lives.

Previte says consumers are increasingly establishing a collaborative consumption model and redefining what they keep to themselves. She says with apps Uber and AirBnb are closing the gap between strangers and literally letting them into aspects of our lives.

By sharing our diets and lifestyles on Instagram and other platforms, Previte says consumers feel more encouraged to participate online and disclose information about themselves.

“It’s because other people are sharing that we feel a sense of being a part of that sharing environment,” she says.

In the future, Previte says we can expect to see more brand-savvy consumers, with consumers asking about where ingredients are sourced and seeking out brand information online.

“I think we’ll see more diversification in the food market and that people want to know what ingredients are in the products they purchase.”

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