Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the share of the food industry’s marketing dollars spent on digital media has risen sharply, and a growing share of that spending has been directed to so-called social media influencers. . The meteoric rise of such an influencer in a seemingly unrelated economic sector – cosmetics – deserves the attention of grain-based foods.

A December feature item in Food sector news cited data showing that influencer marketing generates five times the engagement of conventional advertising. While influencers are often teens or adults in their early 20s, they build dedicated followers from like-minded people. As the head of an influencer marketing agency said, “Whether it’s a tube of toothpaste or a food item, if someone you trust says to you, ‘ I really like this product, ”your interest in trying and purchasing this product will increase dramatically.

the Food sector news article describes how food companies have partnered with micro-influencers (those with 1,000-100,000 followers) and macro-influencers (100,000-1 million). A recent profile of a very popular influencer on the social media platform TikTok offers some insight into the direction the influencer phenomenon could take.

If there is value in aligning with an influencer who has 50,000 or 500,000 followers, what is the value of an influencer with 5 million or 50 million? One of those people, Addison Rae Easterling, amassed over 79 million global TikTok followers in just over a year and was featured in a recent feature New York Times Magazine Reportage. Using the five times multiplier cited above, Ms. Easterling, 20, has the same marketing power as a conventional advertising program targeting the 330 million men, women and children in the United States.

Ms Easterling, who was also covered by Forbes and Business intern and appeared on “The Tonight Show,” has now partnered with Ipsy, a beauty subscription service, to introduce a line of cosmetics mailed out for $ 12 per month. The products are sold under the Item Beauty brand and are designed to be practical, storing in a small bag.

In addition to exploring how someone posting one-minute dance videos attracts so many followers so quickly, the Time also describes the changes taking place in the cosmetics industry. The commonalities with the food industry were striking. Like baking, cosmetics was largely a local industry until the early 1900s when many big brands were introduced, often by immigrants. For example, Maksymilian Faktorowiz emigrated from Russia to the United States in 1914 and changed his name to Max Factor. Although not a necessity like food, clothing, or shelter, cosmetics show resilient demand in times of economic downturn. the Time estimated, citing data from Euromonitor, the size of the US market at $ 92 billion.

Like food and many industries, the shift to online cosmetics sales accelerated during the COVID pandemic. Sharing data from the NPD group, the Time said direct sales of retail cosmetics fell 4% in 2020, compared to an overall decline of 19% for high-end beauty brands. Traditional beauty brands have struggled to stay relevant, with established products often criticized for their lack of innovation.

The vitality of the cosmetics industry is sought by moving away from promoting an unrealistic ideal of beauty in favor of a celebration of self-expression and well-being. It’s hard to overstate the potential value to the industry of partnering with a spokesperson who delivers such a message in a way that is considered authentic. Helping consumers develop a healthier relationship with food is an equally monumental challenge.

In addition to her new line of cosmetics, Ms. Easterling has signed deals with American Eagle and Spotify. She also worked with Coca-Cola. Forbes called Ms. Easterling TikTok’s biggest income in 2020 at $ 5 million. This figure looks set to increase rapidly in 2021. Grain-based food companies shifting their marketing investments to digital media would be wise to stay tuned in to this emerging segment.

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