Food influencers are some of the most open-hearted social media personalities on the planet. They are curious, creative, and scientific, all at the same time.
If your brand is considering partnering with food influencers, here is our line-up of the best ones to watch out for and some best practices to consider when working with them.
Choosing the right food influencers
Choosing the right partner is the most critical part of your strategy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself during the process.
What are my influencer marketing goals?
Do you want your audience to buy your product directly from an influencer’s post? Or do you prefer to raise brand awareness? Will your influencer be testing your product/service to provide a glowing review to consumers? Whatever your goals, identifying them first will help you find the best food and beverage influencers for your brand.
Does my audience align with the influencer’s audience?
Audience alignment between your brand and the influencer is key to generating the highest ROI from your influencer campaign. Pay attention to the lifestyle and demographics of your prospective influencers before you recruit them.
Does this food influencer have excellent engagement metrics or only vanity metrics?
Unfortunately, some influencers boast a substantial social media following, but cannot generate engagement from their audience. Followers and likes are known as vanity metrics because they don’t measure authentic engagement. Instead, note your influencers’ post comments and shares. The excitement of the influencer’s audience will reveal itself through these metrics.
Best practices for brands wanting to leverage food influencers
At the end of the day, the quality of your campaign comes down to integrating your products in a way that fits the creator’s style and approach. When planning your next campaign with food creators, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Make your content visual and appetizing.
If the food looks appealing, then fans are more likely to enjoy and engage that content positively. Even if your product isn’t the final dish in a creator post, remember that the visual appeal of the dish and your product will have a major impact on how people react to your brand.
2. Make sure that your creators understand product best practices, uses, etc.
Your creator partners should help you put your best foot forward. Make sure to set them up for success when using your appliance, adding your spices, etc. How you onboard your influencers and the campaign guidelines you give them are key to achieving this goal.
3. Give as much free product as possible.
It is critical that you find creators who love your product and genuinely want to endorse your brand. To do this, you will want to be generous with product gifts. While operating within your budget, do your best to make sure that your creator partners are well-supplied for their campaign and beyond.
4. Consider alcohol restrictions for certain regions/audiences.
Some audiences, regions, and platforms do require posts and paid campaigns to disclose age restrictions when promoting alcoholic beverages. Be aware of any restrictions that might impact your marketing efforts and inform your influencers what those restrictions are.
5. Be open to product/brand pairing that compliments your brand.
Many food influencers love to incorporate multiple brands into their sponsored posts. These tactics don’t merely let the creator “kill two birds with one stone,” but they make the post resonate more deeply with their audience. This approach makes the content more authentic and actually helps your brand.
6. Get the rights to repurpose influencer content across multiple channels.
Because most food and beverage influencers are strong photographers and videographers, you may want to repurpose high-performing content on your page or in a paid campaign. By including content rights in your contracts, you can legally repurpose creator content as much as possible, lowering your production costs.
Top food influencers to follow right now
Top food influencers on Instagram
The Modern Proper
Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer form the dynamic duo that is The Modern Proper. These cooking and hospitality influencers are among the most versatile recipe creators on Instagram. Fans can choose from a host of recipes, including pasta dishes, soups, salads, gluten-free options, meat-specific entrees, vegetarian meals, desserts, and more.
Jo Yee says that her photography blog is a “sturdy home for literary and visual tales of my travels and global food adventures both abroad and in London.” She is one of the most-followed travel and foodie influencers on Instagram. Also a professional photographer, Jo excites audiences with exotic lifestyle shots and meals from her London home.
Dennis Prescott is not just a Netflix restaurant show host, he is also an avid influencer. Originally from Canada, Dennis migrated to Nashville, Tennessee, to become a professional musician. To the relief of foodies everywhere, his music career never took off. Instead, Dennis became an accomplished chef, photographer, and world traveler.
Michaela Vais creates delicious vegan recipes and shares them with fans. She launched her influencer career in 2015 when she made her food photography public on social media. Since then, her cooking and photo-shooting hobbies have merged into a full-time business. In addition to Instagram, Michaela maintains a popular food blog with printable recipes and photos.
Sonia and Vishnu live on opposite sides of the world, but they connect through international cuisine. Sometimes together, other times apart, the Transatlantic Foodies travel, eat, and share. In addition to their Instagram page, Sonia and Vishnu maintain the TransatlanticFoodies London Guide on Google Maps.
Dan “Grossy” Pelosi
Dan Pelosi is an IG favorite for all things comfort food. His recipes are approachable and tasty. But best of all, they are meant to be shared with the ones you love. Give him a follow to see what he cooks up next!
If you like tacos and breakfast, then Nick Neves (aka Dad Beetz) might be your favorite influencer on Instagram. In addition to home cooking and his day job as a director at Verizon Media, Nick prefers to spend time with his wife and two sons. Nick is the quintessential cooking dad. And in recognition of his authenticity, Saveur Magazine named his Instagram account the “best in food.”
Top food influencers on TikTok
Dylan Hollis is TikTok’s top comedian chef. He entertains his fans with recipes from the early 20th century (particularly British recipes from the World War II era). While cooking, you’re likely to see hilarious, flamboyant commentaries with a final taste test at the end.
Food Freaks has some of the most unique recipe inspo in TikTok. Check them out for wild twists on old-time favorites and plenty of new-age creations that you never knew you needed.
Want to learn from a true pro? Poppy is a Michelin star chef, but her TikTok recipes are as approachable as they are delicious. Her warm, inviting vibe makes her a must-follow for foodies and aspiring chefs alike.
TriDerika is known for creating vegan and plant-based recipes that kids will love. Check her out for healthy recipes and some adorable cameos from her adorable baby daughter.
Vivian Aronson specializes in Chinese cuisine. Her fun and informative videos are a great introduction to anyone looking to experiment with Chinese flavors. Plus, her quirky videos and quality editing make her an extremely addictive follow.
Do you like butter? You better if you want to try Thomas’ recipes. The self-proclaimed “CEO of butter” isn’t going to serve up the healthiest options, but they certainly are delicious—and usually pretty simple to recreate.
Top food influencers on YouTube
Smokin’ & Grillin’ with AB
AB is a self-taught chef passionate about BBQ and homestyle cooking. On his channel, you’ll find plenty of delicious recipes, helpful tips, and a good dose of humor. From slow-smoked brisket and ribs to classic comfort food, AB is here to make your mouth water and simplify the cooking process for you.
Shaquille is a great teacher and has plenty of recipes that will make your tastebuds sing. Watch one of his “masterclasses” to learn a special skill or follow him as he samples unique foods from around the world.
Kimmy is a mom who loves to cook, bake, and craft for her kids, friends, and family. She’s not a certified chef or baker—she just likes coming into the kitchen and getting busy!
Here’s one for all you foodie historians out there. Every Tuesday, you can tune into Tasting History with Max Miller, where you’ll learn how to make different historic dishes while exploring the story behind it.
Josh makes entertaining, exciting, and inspirational videos about food and cooking. He’s obsessive about bread and enjoys eating things with a large quantity of butter in them. His goal is to get you excited about food and hopefully inspire you to cook something for yourself.
Emmymade loves learning about the world through food and invites her followers to come along for the ride. Give her a follow for wacky twists on old favorites and new recipes you can make at home to please the whole family.
Top food bloggers
No Bread was started by Nicole Cogan as a guide for the best gluten-free dishes from around the world. Check her out for delicious recipes and some of her favorite health and wellness tips and tricks.
Kate cooks fresh vegetarian recipes, and her dog, Cookie, catches all the crumbs. Check her blog out for all kinds of nutritious and delicious recipes you can make at home.
Budget Bytes proves that good food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. The blog has been teaching home chefs how to do more with less since 2009 with simple recipes and step-by-step photo instructions.
Chef’s Pencil is an international food magazine launched in 2009 by Chef Paul Hegeman. In it you’ll find information about pretty much any cuisine in the world, from classic French and Italian to trendy Asian and West African foods.
With a lifetime’s worth of experience, David Lebovitz’s blog is the ultimate culinary destination. Be sure to visit for recipe inspiration, cookbook recommendations, and more.
Molly Yeh’s blog is a diary about food, farm life, and adventures. As a classically trained chef at Juilliard, Molly knows a thing or two about creating the perfect plate.
Key takeaway: Leverage food influencers to serve up the freshest campaigns.
Food and beverage influencers are artists and professional creatives. Once you’ve identified your campaign objectives, lean upon your influencers to build a strategy that will enthrall your audience. Make sure that the details of your campaign are clear, and then watch your food creator promote your brand with effectiveness and authenticity.