The Food Influencers: Who’s Swaying our Shopping Habits in 2016?.

May 6th 2016

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This week the Grocer magazine published 2016’s Top Twenty Food Influencers, taken from a 50-strong list compiled by advertising agency Telegraph Hill and made up of everyone from tech-savvy newcomers and social media stars, through to supermarket bosses and household names.

From the sugar levy to sugar-free ‘clean eating’ and Instagram to Itsu, every day British shoppers are heavily influenced when it comes to filling their shopping baskets; while the Grocer comprehensively covered ‘The Who,’ at Stir we could help but ponder over ‘The Why.’

It may not come as surprise that the top slot was awarded to ‘Chef & Campaigner’ Jamie Oliver. Loved by just as many as he infuriates, even his biggest critics can’t deny his powerhouse credentials in the world of food and drink.

Whether you’re a 15-Minute Meals fan, a frequenter of FIFTEEN or admire his stance on School Dinners, his recent unofficial figurehead status for the sugar levy on soft drinks won’t have escaped your attention – which we’re sure will make you think twice when reaching for a seemingly healthy soft beverage…

Perhaps an equally unsurprising result was the clean-eaters of Instagram being afforded spots within the top ten. Ella Woodward (Deliciously Ella) the doyenne of socially sharing her healthy habits came in at number 10 and rising star ‘The Body Coach’ Jo Wicks was hot on the heels of Jamie Oliver at number 2.

With book deals under their belts, enjoying health guru statuses and Instagram followers in the millions; there’s no doubt that the likes of Ella and Jo have shown just how powerful the social media platform of choice for gourmands has been in catapulting the clean-eating movement into the mainstream.

Forcing the big food manufacturers, retailers and restaurants to react to an ever-expanding customer demand for ‘free-from’ options, at Stir we certainly agree that the likes of Wicks, and Woodward have encouraged customers to increasingly embrace food and food trends in nutritional terms.

Compiled by evaluating factors such as real-world power, online activity, traditional media presence and brand strength it isn’t just the celebrity chefs and digital darlings who are influencing our shopping habits.

Thanks to marketing tactics playing on British humour, competitive price wars and ‘the Waitrose Effect’ going so far as to influence the housing market; the top 20 was counterweighted with the inclusion of every British supermarket boss – all of whom are equally unlikely to be posting pics of their #greenjuice #healthgoals smoothies any time soon!

While the new list of Britain’s 50 most influential foodies features plenty of tech-savvy newcomers, it’s interesting to see that supermarket bosses and familiar names like Nigella Lawson are still very much in evidence