– Published on
September 27, 2022

Is TikTok the place to be for grocery chains?

If you're not an active TikTok-user you might associate it with viral clips of dancing and lip syncing. And that’s true, but actually TikTok is not just that at all. What controls your feed is based on what you’re interested in. So if you look at a lot of dancing, you’ll keep seeing a lot of dancing. If you like to watch people clean, then congrats, #cleantok is one of the biggest trends on TikTok. You will see what you are interested in.

The TikTok feta effect

A HUGE trend is food content in various ways. There are millions of clips of weird (and not weird) culinary trends and recipes. Maybe you’ve heard about that time in 2021 when the feta cheese sold out all over the world. That was not due to some feta cheese shortage, it was a baked feta pasta recipe that went viral on, yes, TikTok. If we start with that information, it already makes sense for grocery retailers to keep a close eye on what’s happening on there to keep up with current trends. But let’s dig a little deeper to find out why TikTok can be a good medium for grocery retailers.

Grocery related hashtags

I already mentioned the cooking trend, but there is a lot more going on that is highly relevant for food retailers. #GroceryTok, #GroceryHaul and #TiktokMadeMeBuyIt are phenomenons with several hundred million views. And there are many many more hashtags that’s relevant for food retail. The interest and engagement is very high on these topics. As a marketer, I’ve yet not worked with TikTok as a channel, but lucky for you, I’ve talked to a person who’s not only working with the platform but actually helped a grocery chain to start up with TikTok.

Hi! Who are you?

My name is Liv Tone Otterholt and I work as a content producer at the content marketing agency Spoon. I work with KIWI, which is one of Norway's largest low-price chains, and have helped build up their TikTok channel.

What does it look like for grocery retailers on TikTok today?  

In Norway, our customer KIWI was the first of all grocery chains on TikTok. A couple of other chains have also jumped on the bandwagon now, but there are still few Norwegian food chains on TikTok. Globally, we see that several large food chains are on TikTok, such as Aldi, Walmart, Whole Foods, Costco and Tesco, but it varies how active they are. TikTok is not a new app, but for brands it may still be quite new and a bit “scary”. So I think it's completely normal that more people haven't followed suit yet.. I'm guessing that in the future we will see more big brands on TikTok, now that the field has been ploughed by "first movers".

What would be your top 3 tips to someone who wants their brand on the platform?

Set goals - what do you want to achieve on TikTok? And what value should you give to TikTok?

Set aside scrolling time - if you're going to make TikToks, you need to understand the platform. Be inspired by others and see what's going on there.

Produce, publish and analyze - there is no magic recipe that says exactly what to do on TikTok. So the most important thing is to start making TikToks, and analyze the data afterwards. "What works and what doesn't work for us?".

Lastly, who else do you think is doing a good job on TikTok?

When it comes to brands on TikTok I think Joe & The Juice do a really good job! They have really understood that they have to make TikToks, not ads. They also dare to humor customers, but are also self-deprecating - something everyone can relate to. It is fun!

@kiwi_minipris Brokkolistammer kan brukes til mye rart, men pastasaus er helt klart det beste🤌 #matavfall #brokkoli #kastmindremat #pasta #middag ♬ Pennies from Heaven - Louis Prima

Quick facts about TikTok

👉 1 billion active users

👉 You get served what you like and what you engage with not only who you follow

👉 The clips are usually simple, no big productions. Authenticity is more important

👉 20% of the world’s internet users, use TikTok

Reach a new demographic

To sum it up, there are many good reasons for grocery chains to be active on TikTok. You can reach a demographic that you usually don’t reach with traditional marketing, the young. For example it can be great for employer branding, to champion workers and attract new ones. I’m not saying that grocery chains are a guaranteed success on the platform, I think it takes time and a lot of creativity and a special “feel” for the medium, keeping up with producing content for such a fast paced medium is hard work. But if you do it right it might be worth it. Check out how Kiwi works on TikTok!

Fia Sjöström
Content Creator & Marketing specialist

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