Media

Digital Food Videos Are Hot. Here’s What People Are Watching


Considering the popularity of food and cooking shows on television—from traditional how-to programs to contrived competitions—it’s only natural that food videos are proliferating online too. Subscriptions to the 300 most-viewed food channels on YouTube more than tripled in 2013 over the previous year and views of videos on those channels jumped 59 percent, according to a new analysis by Google (GOOG).

Viewers seek everything from recipes to such cooking basics as how to grill. Still, many food videos that go viral have one other component in common—they’re entertaining in the sense that they’re absurd, or at least kind of silly, which is one way these online videos distinguish themselves from their rivals on TV.

These were the most-watched food and beverage videos published on YouTube in June, ranked by the number of views for the month, according to Google. YouTube star Rosanna Pansino—who is featured in an ad campaign for the company—had three of the top 10, and BuzzFeed had two.

1. Stephen Merchant Presents: “If We Won” with Newcastle Brown Ale (Newcastle)
Views: 1.88 million
Published: June 24, 2014
“Do you really still have to celebrate your emancipation from us?” asks British comedian Stephen Merchant about America’s July 4 celebrations. “I mean, that’s like your girlfriend breaking up with you and then celebrating it with fireworks, every year, for 300 years.”

2. How to Slice a Mango (Alton Brown)
Views: 1.49 million
Published: June 18, 2014
The mango is a “vicious adversary,” Food Network host Alton Brown says. He demonstrates two ways you should not cut one, and then the right way.

3. “Straight Talk” | Whatever, USA (Bud Light)
Views: 1.42 million
June 5, 2014
There’s nothing special about this video. It just directs you to Bud Light’s (BUD) website Upforwhatever.com, where you can audition for a three-day Bud-fueled adventure—which of course makes you think maybe you’ll get to play ping-pong with Arnold Schwarzenegger, as in the “Up For Whatever” Super Bowl ads.

4. Cheeseburger Ice Cream Sandwiches-Nerdy Nummies (Rosanna Pansino)
Views: 1.18 million
Published: June 3, 2014
Don’t worry; they’re just shaped like cheeseburgers.

5. Cheap Coffee Reviewed by a Coffee Expert (BuzzFeedVideo)
Views: 1.06 million
Published: June 12, 2014
Did we really need a coffee expert to tell us that cheap coffee has “a note of water”? (Businessweek.com did a fast-food coffee taste test in February 2013.)

6. Rainbow Unicorn Poop Bubble Gum (SimpleCookingChannel)
Views: 828,523
Published: June 14, 2014
For those with cravings as weird—and colorful—as their imaginations.

7. Animal Crossing Birthday Cake-Nerdy Nummies (Rosana Pansino)
Views: 800,407
Published: June 10, 2014
Pansino crafts a strawberry cake based on one in the Animal Crossing video game.

8. Doughnut Fusion (Epic Meal Time)
Views: 771,025
Published: June 3, 2014
Big Mac doughnuts, braided bacon doughnuts, mac and cheese doughnuts, pepperoni pizza doughnuts, chicken nugget “munchkins,” bacon weave doughnut wheels, mustard pretzel doughnuts, Tex-Mex doughnuts, poutine doughnuts, General Tso’s doughnuts, and many more.

9. Video: DIY July 4th Treats (Rosana Pansino)
Views: 517,597
Published: June 27, 2014
Easy Independence Day snack recipes.

10. The Frankenfood Taste Test Your Inner Child Will Love (BuzzFeedVideo)
Views: 507,071
Published: June 26, 2014
Hot dogs in sponge cake, cheese pizza with chocolate pudding and cheese puffs, gefilte fish with mac and cheese, and cookies and cream french toast. “If you didn’t have some guy that decided to put meat into bread, there’d be no sandwich out there,” says one of the people in the video. “So you have to kind of go through life with a little bit of a Frankenfood mentality. Otherwise everything you eat is just going to suck.”

Venessa-wong-190x190
Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

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