Don’t Judge a Food by its Instagram Post

Instagram is ruining our experience with food


(Source: Taco Bell’s instagram account)

Rainbow colours, multi-coloured candies, strategically arranged ingredients, fancy looking utensils and good restaurant lighting. All these make up a good Instagram worthy photo. It is becoming a trend these days for food to look aesthetically pleasing so as to get as many likes and comments on Instagram as possible.Taco Bell is one of the mega food brands that bases its menu choices on the Instagramability of its food. From the conception of the food right down to the packaging, every stage in development had in mind how the food item will look on social media.

We can always make food taste good. But, how do you get that twist that makes it a part of people’s lives instead of just eating?

However, the real question is, do food that look impressive on Instagram really taste good? Well, we will let you be the judge of that.


1) Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino 

I am sure everyone still remembers this huge online sensation that swept over social media last month. Yeap, the Unicorn Frappuccino, created by Starbucks. This rainbow colored drink was available for only five days, from the 19th -23rd of April, but became the most liked and commented Instagram post on Starbucks’ Instagram account.

(source: Popular Chips

So… does this mystical looking drink besides consisting mainly of sugar (59g to be exact ? ) really tastes anything like a unicorn? Let’s check twitter for some reactions.

Well.. I guess there is a discrepancy between the look and the taste. For the record, the unicorn frappuccino tastes like Sour Skittles with Orange Julius. Made only for the sweetest of tooth, it might as well be the sworn enemy of the tooth fairy!  Let’s take a look at another example of food going viral for reasons not pertaining to the taste of it.


2) Dragon’s Breath 

Although Dragon’s Breath started in the night markets of Philippines and South Korea, it was sensationalized by Chocolate Chair when they started selling the dessert in LA. Their rice cereals, infused with liquid nitrogen will result in you blowing a fog-like gas through your mouth and nose while you are eating, hence the name. Interesting as it is, the cereals still taste like normal cereals, though it does make for a good Instagram video.

Dragon’s Breath is the most Instagram-able street food in the world right now


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A post shared by Chloe Bechtol (@chloejbechtol) on

That being said, there are some risks involved in consuming food with liquid nitrogen since cryogenic liquid can possibly cause frostbite or cold burns if it comes in direct contact with the skin. As such, one should make sure that they are served the food by properly trained professionals and advised on the proper way of eating it.


              More colors over here please! 

The key to creating food meant for Instagram is to add as many colors and layers into your food as possible. From bagels to sandwiches to cakes to ice cream… colors are the key ingredients to a viral photo. Check out these stores that became viral on social media for their rainbow colored food.


Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

(known for selling over the top milkshakes)



The Bagel Store in Brooklyn



The Kala Toast in Hong Kong


So, it is evident that food choices these days are very much influenced by how they look on social media. This could be a good thing as delicious looking and nicely presented food can increase our appetite and improve our overall eating experience. However, the disproportionate amount of attention put into the aesthetics of food on social media these days seemed to have forced food outlets to add food items that look better than they actually taste. Furthermore, aren’t we missing out a whole variety of great tasting food just because they don’t necessary look good enough to be on Instagram?  Food such as hummus, casseroles, and guacamole may not look the best, but they can definitely make it up with the flavors.

I will leave you with this hilarious spoof by IKEA which depicts the 18th-century version of food postings on Instagram. 😉

It’s a meal. Not a competition.

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