Why Chosen Foods wants to take an educational approach to TikTok

Chosen Foods, a brand of avocado-based cooking oils and condiments that launched in 2011, is focusing its marketing dollars — spending roughly 40% of its ad budget — on TikTok. The brand is looking to stand out with an educational approach to the platform.

In a similar move as health care brand Supergut, Chosen Foods focused on organic growth on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest in the past year. But the brand shifted its marketing dollars and content strategy to produce its own long and short form videos on TikTok now that Gen Z spends more time on the app.

“Our strategy is to seek out underpriced attention among our target consumer, which in 2022 dictates an emphasis on TikTok, a platform that increasingly helps drive forward culture while also functioning as a home for education and entertainment,” said Sara Barnes, vice president of marketing at Chosen Foods.

Chosen Foods’ TikTok includes skits, recipe videos with popular foods that use avocado oil as a key ingredient, user-friendly content about the benefits of avocado oil and “Did You Know” content to help users learn more about how avocado oil can benefit their lives.

Barnes said that all of its content is produced in-house by a two-person team along with an eight-person team from the ad agency Vayner Media which publishes content at least twice per day.

Chosen Foods targets consumers 18-64 years of age looking for a healthier alternative to grocery shopping, similar to online grocer Misfits Market. The brand categorizes these potential consumers according to their passions and interests, demos and life stages, business opportunities and shopper journeys, as well as the greater tastes and drivers of culture they observe.

“By combining a mix of product information, tapping into skits, and animals all while infusing elements of humor that gauge viewer interest, Chosen Foods is solidifying a TikTok strategy that is resonating with consumers,” said Krishna Subramanian, CEO and cofounder of the influencer marketing platform Captiv8.

In less than eight weeks after launching content on TikTok in May 2022, the brand has grown from less than 500 followers to 100,000 followers with over one million engagements and 400 million impressions based on data retrieved from TripleWhale, a TikTok analytical tool. Currently, Chosen Foods has over 230,000 followers on the platform.

“I feel like with most social media marketing, brands get so caught up in trying to sell their product with a single piece of content, rather than thinking about how they can provide value to their audience,” said Cassie Petrey, co-founder of Crowd Surf, a social media marketing and artist management firm. “This brand is providing value to their followers in so many ways from making them laugh to educating them.”

The brand spent $6.1 million so far on advertising in 2022, according to Pathmatics data. Barnes said the company spent nearly 40% of its advertising budget on TikTok but did not say how much that total figure was — or comment on the rest of the ad spend.

Gen Z spends a significant amount of time on TikTok discovering and using trends. The demographic is also averse to blatant advertising on the platform. Given this, Aliza Freud, CEO of SheSpeaks, a community of female influencers, called Chosen Foods’ TikTok strategy a “winning” one.

“For platforms like TikTok, you must lead with content that is native to the platform and make your product secondary,” Freud said.

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