Beth Trundle has melted, deep-fried, sautéed, seared, blanched, stuffed, drizzled, blow torched, whipped, whisked and sprinkled her way through more than 100 recipes over the last 12 months.
At 23, she is responsible for one of the largest online food networks on the planet: Love Food. The page is the go-to destination for food porn, with over 6.9 million followers on Instagram and a further one million likes on Facebook.
“If you’ve had told me when I was at university that three years later I would be melting cheese and working with some of the biggest brands in the world [hungryhouse, Barefoot Wine], I would’ve thought you were drunk,” jokes Beth.
“It’s been an incredible ride to get here, and I’m sure it will continue to be as we take the brand global.”
But heading up a major social media food empire isn’t all fun and games, right?
Actually, it is. When she’s not pouring lashes of molten Monterey Jack cheddar over a premium rump steak, she can often be found dreaming up 101 new recipes for red velvet cookie dough and cream.
The psychology of sharing food
That said, there is a method to her madness. Beth has conducted a wealth of research into the psychology behind why we share food on social media and the real reason why Love Food posts average at around a mind-blowing 300,000 likes per post.
“I took a concept which looks at pairing a stimulus and a response. We might look at a burger online and because we’re so used to seeing that in our everyday lives, our brains react as if that’s in front of us,” she explains.
Believe it or not, the sight of delicious food on social media can trick the brain into releasing high levels of dopamine. In turn, it’s this positive association with food that motivates us to share and engage time and time again.
As a result, restaurants and fast food chains have even begun doubling down on this craze to appease a new generation of Instagram foodies. So valuable is the food porn trend that Love Food now advise restaurants on how to achieve a more Instagrammable menu.
Keeping on top of food trends
Her advice? “When it comes to food porn, you have to have a bit of awareness of what’s in fashion. It’s about making sure your restaurant menu is flexible enough to jump on certain food trends, like cookie dough and avocado. You need to be able to ride the wave.”
But be in no doubt, running Love Food is a full-time occupation. “I was recently asked to carve and serve a joint of beef at my best friend’s wedding,” she laughs. “The funniest part is that I’m actually a vegetarian.”
Earlier this year, Beth made the decision to live off just £1 a day for 30 days in a bid to raise money for charity.
“It made me appreciate food in a different way which is a stark contrast to what I was doing in my day job. I didn’t eat the meat the whole time because I couldn’t afford it. Coming out of that challenge, I decided to carry on living life as a vegetarian.”
So, what does the future hold for Love Food? Beth’s immediate plans involve expanding the Love Food brand to other social media platforms, including YouTube. She also wants to build the brand’s presence off-screen and away from social media.
Want to find out more about Love Food? Beth is currently on the lookout for restaurants, content creators and professional cheese melters. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on how to get involved.
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