After some, um, diplomatic issues, and the emergence of a basic B rival, Tiktok is here to stay and dare we say, it’s better than ever...for food brands?

After all, it wasn’t just Fleetwood Mac who found a new fan base when a random guy cruised to work on his skateboard lip-syncing their song, “Dreams.” Ocean Spray, the cranberry drink he was chugging as he did it, was soon sold-out on shelves everywhere as people replicated the video (and hoped their version went viral.)*


Currently, the hashtag #TikTokFood has 13.1 BILLION views. These videos feature recipes, snacks, meal ideas, cooking techniques, hacks and so much more. (Of course, there are some that have nothing to do with food at all, media.)

Many of these food videos are going viral whether it be hot cocoa bombs or food reviews and major brands are stepping in to do special collabs with TikTok stars (see Dunkin’ Donuts’
Charli Drink.)

Even wilder, random brands are achieving viral stardom without having a ton of followers or without the help of an influencer.

Ugly Drinks has been on TikTok for a while but only in the past few weeks have they upped their TikTok content, including participating in this funny #seltzerchallenge. Orla Weir, brand manager at Ugly Drinks, said Tiktok is now one of their fastest growing channels, having gained more than a 1,000 followers in the last week.

“The Ugly brand and product just works there: fun, fizzy, celebrating the imperfect and speaks to the generation using TikTok in both the UK and the US,” she said.

And as evidenced by
Nerdy Nuts sudden sales explosion after partnering with a few small-time TikTok influencers, the audience has a sleeper buying power that seemingly defies previous consumer buying logic.


Now what’s hot in the TikTok ecosystem is transitioning to real-world retail. TikTok and Postmates announced a new partnership that allows people to buy a few popular food trends such as Cloud Bread, whipped coffee and pancake cereal) through the Postmates app. The collab is only available in Los Angeles right now, but other markets are being primed.

Meanwhile, Shopify has teamed up with TikTok to allow their merchants to control their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard (using the TikTok For Business Ads Manager functions.) Shopify is also encouraging its merchants to make Tiktoks, not ads, especially as the holiday season nears and folks are looking for inspo on their phones. Shopify even allows merchants to display TikTok videos on their website with the TikTok Shopping Gallery app where customers can watch a TikTok and then shop it.

We’ve rounded up someTikTok content-making tips here, but now that social commerce around TikTok is exploding, there are some new tactics to keep in mind.
  • Sign up for a Tiktok for Business account. It’s free to create one and there are varying levels of ads, but it’s a must for anyone looking to expand their reach on Tiktok.

  • Use special promo codes for Tiktok. To find out if your TikToks are working, utilize a Tiktok-specific code sucah a TikTok2020 to track purchases.

  • Show off your brand in a new way, even if it’s weird. Yes, it’s a can of seltzer but it can also be a bubble bath. See Ugly Drinks above.

  • Drop in on a trend. If there’s a trend, it means people are watching and searching for it. So hop on a skateboard with your product and cue up the Fleetwood Mac.

  • Don’t be polished. Tiktok is the anti-Instagram. Being polished and filtered won’t work here. Stay true to your brand, be funny and informative, and please, minimize the use of filters.

While the reach of Tiktok is undeniable, its algorithm remains finicky. What works one time, may not (most likely will not) work a second time. Still, as long as you keep brand awareness as your top priority, going viral will just be a very nice bonus.

*How a Rags to Riches story ends in Modern Day Times: Ocean Spray later gifted @420doggface208 with a new truck and he’s now getting paid to promo all sorts of brands all over the country.

👋 Meet a Maker

RYZE SUPERFOODS: Wake up and smell the 'shrooms. Andree Werner gives Foodboro the lowdown on her background, what inspired Ryze Superfoods mushroom coffee, how they manage production and distribution, plus her daily habits and some startup inspiration.

🧐 Ask an Expert

SHIPAGEDDON TIPSShipageddon is coming, are you ready? We chatted with Chris Baum of Taylor Logistics, a third-party logistics provider in Ohio, to find out what's ahead for this holiday shopping season and how to handle the surge.

👀 Looking For

  • A Granola Packer: Matchaful Granola is looking for a new co-packer in the Northeast who can activate seeds and has dehydrators. Know of anyone?Are you that someone? Email us! 

  • SKU Austin Applications: Austin-based SKU, the nation’s first accelerator focused on consumer products, is accepting applications for its ninth Austin cohort through Nov. 15th. Companies can apply here at

  • Some Spice Advice: Burlap & Barrel is looking for ways to manage the settling of spices while in transit. Got any tips on this? Reach out to Ori and tell him Foodboro sent you. 

🧠 Reading Roundup: November 10, 2020

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