Styling and Photography by Jason Coronel and Laurie Mosco
Instagram Influencers? That’s sooo yesterday! The hottest social media platform driving sales across the entire retail community — TikTok. Described as “Instagram meets YouTube,” TikTok allows individuals to post short clips of anything from comedic skits, to the latest dance moves or — here’s where it gets juicy for those in the food industry – to food reviews AND food challenges!
With 100 million TikTok users in the US alone according to AdAge, that’s A LOT of potential eyeballs to see your business. Major brands selling everything from cleaning products, to apparel, to food already see the potential. The demand for products featured on TikTok is so high, that Amazon has an “as seen on social media” section, AdAge also reports. Take a cue from the big brands. Attract customers with TikTok trend worthy treats.
Small candy businesses are already using TikTok to increase sales and foot traffic, posting videos daring users to join food challenges, unveiling new products , and personal accounts of what it means to be a business owner, as reported by Candy Industry.
To get in on the TikTok craze, you don’t have to create an account and whip out the smartphone. Let your customers be the next viral sensation. Offer customers a wide selection of social media-worthy snacks. We polled our candy experts and they gave us a few features to help you spot candies with TikTok star potential.
TikTok is all about engaging content, which is why food reviews and food challenges are so popular. There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the reaction when someone bites into something super sour. Ultra sour candies are an easy way for you and your customers to have fun with TikTok trends. TikTokkers talk about the flavor, show their reactions in slow-motion, and also dare themselves and friends to see how much of the sour flavors they can withstand. If they invent a unique way to eat the candy even better!
Warheads Double Drops with their two “squeeze” bottles, is the man of the “sour,” each giving customers a different dose of intensely sour liquid candy that will blow their minds (and their taste buds). Clever Candy Colossal Wrapped Jawbreakers make your customers larger than life while viewers watch them try to a tame the supersized 4 inch ball of tangy candy.
Viewers wait on the edge of their seats for the nuclear fallout created with the sour flavor explosion from just one taste of Toxic Waste Candy Transform your customers into TikTok “pop” stars with Avery’s Sour Puss Super Sour sodas in Blueberry Lemon and Sour Fruit Punch. Customers will be lining up to show off those pretty pucker faces when sampling the bold blue and raging red super sour sodas in glimmering glass bottles.
Good and Gross
We love to watch people participate in extreme challenges. Eating super gross foods, including gross candy flavors is a spectator sport. The phenomenon is real – it’s been studied by psychologists who found that eating extreme flavored foods gives the same adrenaline rush of a roller coaster, according to NPR. Give your customers a food ride they won’t forget while onlookers watch in disbelief: crispy, crunchy Crick-Ettes — real edible crickets in flavors like Bacon & Cheese, Salt N’ Vinegar, or Sour Cream & Onion.
Take a cue from this exotic candy store owner in Mesa, Arizona, as shown on ABC 15 Arizona, and set this up as a “Just 1” challenge. Dare customers to get through just one Crick-Ette in a video for TikTok, while offering a discount for their bravery. More video viewers = more visitors to the store who will want to try the challenge, and those who live far may want to order the items.
“Gross” can also be unorthodox food mash-ups like soda in out-of-the-box flavors like Dirt, Grass — and Lester’s Fixins Ranch Dressing Soda. You know everyone’s asking themselves “I wonder what that tastes like?” so encourage your more daring customers to make TikTok food review videos of themselves trying the product. They’ll get the likes, and your shop will get the shoppers.
Maybe it’s not the flavor that’s gross, but the shape. Everyone loves a gummy. Gummies in gross shapes like chicken feet, brains, and teeth are made for people who like to step outside the box. Not only do these odd shapes cause a stir in-store – they’ll definitely get viewers to react with the heart of approval when seen on screen.
For those less inclined to test the limits of their taste buds, there are ways to get in on the TikTok excitement. Since TikTok is all about the camera, promote eye-catching novelty candies. Splash Potty Dip-N-Lik with candy powder in a toilet shaped container and dipping “brush” lollipop are a royal flush. For a fun twist, customers can invite the older generations to take a taste. Nothing is more endearing (and entertaining) than watching Nana and PopPop pooh-pooh a poop candy.
Another super visual trend we’re following is super-sized versions of classic candies and watching TikTokkers attempt to tackle eating these candy behemoths. Some of our favorites — the World’s Largest 5 Pound Gummy Bear, Giant Vanilla Gummy Cola or World’s Largest 3 Pound Gummy Worm. TikTokkers are clever with editing, so you’d be surprised how entertaining they are crafting amusing commentary.
These days, everyone is joining the fun and getting noticed on social. A TikTok candy display near the front of your store is a great way to draw them in. Hosting in-store food video challenges? Then make the videos searchable with signage telling customers what hashtags to include. If you have your own TikTok account, add your account name to the signage so you get the credit. And if one of your customers becomes the next social media sensation, you can say you knew them when. . .
To see what’s trending, head to our
TikTok Trends Section