There's a reason food is such a popular subject for Instagram posts. Who doesn't like scrolling through pictures of neatly arranged acai bowls, pastel-colored dollops of ice cream, and sandwiches bursting at the seams with sprouts and peppered tomatoes?
Let's be honest: We all love a good food picture.
The emphasis is on "good," though.Good food pictures are often well-lit, sharp, close in range, taken in a cool context, and make the viewer want nothing more than to jump into the photo and take a bite. Bad food pictures, well ... they're unedited, messy, bland, and plain old uninviting.
If you're in the business of selling food products -- or drink products, for that matter -- then it's incredibly important to know how to take appetizing pictures. Today's consumers expect you to use visual platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to promote your products, offer recipe ideas, announce events and promotions, and show off the human side of your community and culture. (Check out this list of photo editing apps for help.)
But what does a great food brand Instagram account look like? To give you a little inspiration, we've found 15 food and drink brands that are getting noticed on Instagram. Check them out for examples of how to use the visual platform to and gain fans, followers, and loyal customers.
15 Food & Drink Brands With Drool-Worthy Instagram Accounts
The phrase "bien cuit" is one French chefs often use to describe the darkest, crunchiest loaves of bread. It's also the inspiration behind the name of this New York City-based bread company, which takes consistently clean, symmetrical photos that combine dark, rich colors with off-white or block-colored backgrounds. Its images are always sharp so you can practically hear the bread cracking in half.
FOMU markets itself as an "alternative ice cream" company, so it's no surprise they use their Instagram account to post pictures of their non-traditional flavors, such as mulled cider, cardamom pistachio, and maple bourbon walnut.
Forequarter is a restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, known for its unique and ever-changing menu. They keep their customer base up-to-date on the most delicious new offerings by taking teaser photos of them, which are always colorful and meticulously organized. The picture on the bottom right, for instance, pairs with the caption: "Lamb roasts all ready to be paired tonight with potatoes boulangere, garlic butter & rosemary." Excuse me while I make a reservation...
This well-loved brand uses its Instagram account to get creative with the classic cookie. They tend to use bold, block colors like bright blues, pinks, and yellows to form a contrast with its black and white cookies. Scroll through the Instagram feed, and you'll notice they post a handful of photos on a single theme for a short time, such as Oreo cookies covering people's heads or using the cookie as the terrain for miniature figurines in a whimsical scene.
For only posting about one product -- a can of beer -- Pabst Blue Ribbon sure knows how to get creative. Its Instagram feed is chock full of crowd-pleasing photos in keeping with the brand's cool, artistic vibe. For example, the drawing on the bottom right of a Capri Sun filled with PBR is a great example of nostalgia marketing to the coveted millennial audience.
This New York City-based pizza company posts a lot of delicious photos of pizza in all different contexts. But they also post a lot of endearing photos of their staff, whether they're singing loudly, pizza peel in hand, or playing a guitar made from pizza. We love these silly pictures because it shows the human side of the brand.
This independent, family-owned business is known for the farm-fresh, organic ingredients in its bars, granola, waffles, and cereals. Its audience is interested in an overall healthy lifestyle -- which is why Nature's Path Organic consistently posts photos of its products in the context of healthy, active people. Whether it's a plate of waffles, fruit, and nuts or one of their healthy bars spilling out of a backpack on-the-go, its pictures were made for people who love wholesome, healthy food, nature, and adventure.
Brewdog's mission is not only to sell great beer, but to make people as passionate about craft beer as they are. One of the ways the brand accomplishes this is by posting pictures of the brewing and tasting processes, like flowing hops and the staff tasting and taking notes on new batches. Its photos are often dark, high-definition images with a smattering of browns, blues, and reds.
How many different things can you do with a few spoonfuls of yogurt? Chobani takes us up on the challenge by posting endless creative recipe ideas on its Instagram feed, like blueberry vanilla popsicles, chocolate peanut butter granola bowls, and yogurt spread on toasts with toppings its health-minded audience would enjoy.
Everything about The Boathouse restaurant in Palm Beach, Australia, is nautical-themed, from its blue-and-white striped awnings to the cinnamon anchors atop its cappuccinos. It makes you think of sitting on a dock at the harbor and breathing in the fresh, salty air. The folks at The Boathouse do a wonderful job of using Instagram to take us there with bright, well-lit photos of menu offerings, boats, and patrons. We love how they take a lot of their food pictures on top of the dock outside their venue, like the one on the top left. They also do a great job incorporating their anchor logo, like in the latte art and the branded cutting board below.
AlterEco makes chocolate, yes, but that doesn't even scratch the surface of what the brand is about. Its mission is global: It partners with small-scale farmers and integrate sustainability at every point in the supply. As you can imagine, its target audience isn't just chocolate-lovers; it's people who are interested in wholesome, healthy food and sustainable, adventurous lifestyles. That's why so many of AlterEco's photos feature its products in the context of travel and adventure, like the s'mores on the top right. They also give a lot of delicious recipe suggestions that pair their products with healthy products -- such as the dark chocolate with nut butter, dates, and almonds at the bottom left.
This fun, casual seafood restaurant in the heart of Williamsburg, New York, is all about hearty food and great drinks. Playing with color, symmetry, and sharpness, they make even the most basic lobster roll with fries and Ketchup look absolutely mouth-watering. (After all, fancy seafood dishes are great, but lobster rolls are classic and relatable.) They also post a lot of up-close photos of Rosarito's colorful cocktails that show off a well-placed garnish or salted rim. Finally, they use their Instagram feed to repost patrons' photos and announce happy hours and other events, so it's a place their customers know they should follow to stay in-the-know.
Ocean Spray sure knows how to take advantage of the rich, red color of their cranberries. Its Instagram feed is a combination of fun, playful graphics -- like the boozy popsicle and homemade granola recipes below -- and the more typical (but still beautiful) photos of its food products in the context of full meals. The folks at Ocean Spray know there's nothing quite like cranberry bogs against a clear, blue sky, and we love all those photos of the making-of their food products.
Even health-minded people love a treat now and then -- they would just rather that treat include clean ingredients that leave syrups and additives out of the mix. Justin's, a nut butter company that's come a long way from its origin as a one-man operation, posts photos of its products being used in delicious, "clean" recipes ... like the milkshake below. The caption to that photo? "Sweet & Salty Chocolate Hazelnut Pretzel Milkshake. You neeeeeed it. Recipe link in profile." Done.
Last but not least is Belle Chevre, a goat cheese company that posts beautifully crafted photos of its cheese in all different recipes. We love that they often post photos of their goats, too. By revealing more about the process of how the product is made, they're bringing customers closer to the brand.
Which are your favorite food brands' Instagram accounts? Share with us in the comments.
Originally published Sep 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017