THE TEN CATEGORIES OF FOOD BLOGGERS.
Hey there! Thank you so much for stopping by and Welcome to this post!
When you think of a food blogger, what do you think of? Who comes to your mind? What exactly do they do? I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time. However, that keeps being postponed as I discover fresh aspects on Food Blogging. As a professional in one of the categories, I’m sure I’m in a good position to share these aspects with you . As this ‘Food-Blogging’ space is constantly evolving, we can call this; ‘The 2020 Take on Food Bloggers’. Feel free to correct me where need be or add to the points. Finally, do let me know in the comments, who you follow for the different categories.
The term Food Blogger makes me think of writing and cooking. When I joined the scene back in 2017, the category that deals with sharing recipes was the only well-defined one. I guess it’s because most people could relate to it. Today, I classify Food Bloggers into 10 categories. Some actually do not fall under the conventional food-blogger idea. Then again, which other title is the perfect umbrella-term for all creatives in this space?
People with some sort of documentation online on a food related aspect. Anything from sharing recipes to selling signature dishes to sharing photographs of meals etc. The term BLOGGER is therefore, extremely misleading because not all food bloggers write articles on websites.
In no particular order, the ten categories are: Recipe Developers, Foodgrammers, Food Vendors, Food Photographers, Private Chefs, Reviewers, Caterers, Product Vendors, Food Stylists and Home Bakers. For each category, I’ll write individual follow-up articles giving you details on the people in that category-scene and what exactly they do. For now, here is a brief summary:
Here we have people who take pictures of food then sharethem on social media. It could be a home-cooked meal, a restaurant meal, an image from the internet or another Food Bloggers image. If you’re lucky, they offer an explanation on the food/drink captured. This group isn’t limited to the Instagram platform alone. I felt the word ‘grammers’ sums up who they are better than any other would. They are the people to follow if you want to see pictures of food. You may have to comment or dm them to know where they got the food or how much it was; but don’t stress them too much, you’re meant to enjoy the picture and move on.
We should add ‘Re-creators’ to the title because there are those who don’t necessarily create new recipes but try out recipes without changing anything. In any case, the latter is the minority so let’s focus on the developers.
They often start as Re-creators before deciding to add ‘their twist’ to a recipe. I love how they make you believe you can make anything at home! What they often forget to mention is the skill is gained after several un-recorded failed attempts . That not withstanding, we love believing we can be chefs and enjoy the satisfaction of eating something we often run to restaurants to buy.
They can be viewed as small restaurants but, because there is often a highly personalised story behind it, I prefer to look at them more as people and not as a company. Most food vendors specialise in specific foods and don’t have pages and pages worth of menu options. When you think of them, you know exactly what you want. Hogs Paradise for Pork, Bwibo for Juice, Uncle Nenes for Burgers etc. They do one thing and do it extremely well! The fact that they are small-scale and affordable, makes customers feel special/appreciated hence they keep coming back. Some vendors actually evolve to restaurants like we saw with Moh Wingz.
Another name for this category is Cloud Kitchen. This is because they make food at home or at a rented kitchen somewhere and sell the food online for delivery to customers. They have no dine-in option so can’t really be classified as restaurants. See the post we did on Food Vendors – Kalunj Kitchen here.
Definitely similar to Food Vendors in that, there is a personalised story behind it, they operate online and deliver directly to customers. Very few product vendors are actually in supermarkets despite that being the eventual goal for most, if not all of them. Healthy Kajuju and Kaputei actually began this way and are now stocked in supermarkets and retail stores. Those in this category tend to sell health-conscious, eco-friendly and/or preservative-free, KENYAN-MADE products. Here you tend to see produclts like: Honey, Peanut butter, Chilli, Sauces and other condiments. Besides, we are all trying to move away from supporting imported products priced exhorbitantly when we can support Kenyan-made affordable brands.
I believe the Food and Drinks Industry would be nowhere without these people. How would vendors, recipe developers or restaurants market their products with poor images? It would be absolutely impossible. Most creatives in the other categories seek their services while others like myself; where the demand for absolute crisp images is not as high, prefer to learn the basic skills and work with what we have in terms of equipment.
That being said, because I understand the struggle of food photography, I have come to seriously respect those in this category. The thing about food is it will oxidise or melt or completely change how it looks once plated so they have to work quick to capture the best shots and don’t get me started on action shots where food is in the process of meeting the mouth. Wueh!
The same way other categories depend on them, they work closely and sometimes even depend on another category for the photography to be a success – Food Stylists.
They are responsible for setting up the food (plating), the scene or environment for the shoot and even the mood. They work closely with the chef when it comes to plating or completely do it on their own. Most are chefs themselves so can even develop the recipe, plate, set up and for some actually do the photography. It’s safe to say that the three categories: Chef/Recipe Developer, Stylist and Photographer can be: a three in one person, two different people or three different people. Those who have made great progress in the Food Blogging Career are definitely those who belong to one or more categories.
CATERERS AND PRIVATE CHEFS.
This is a well known category. I have a feeling, they are the same thing but with different titles. For both, you are hiring someone to cook for you and/or your guests. However, I’m of the opinion that, Private Chefs deal with smaller-intimate gatherings where the menu is unique and extra-ordinary. For them, it’s more of treating you and your guests to a culinary experience.
I believe Caterers are mass production teams for weddings, funerals, parties etc. with basic or common menu items. You can imagine cooking something extra-ordinary for over 100 guests and they end up disliking it. Quite unimaginable! But for a private chef, the client is in for an experience not just to be fed. That being said, we should definitely not accept mediocrity in the name of ‘Mass Production’.
If there is one category that is bursting at the seams, it’s this one. Over the past year, hundreds have come up in this category, making birthday cakes, cupcakes, cinammon rolls, doughnuts, cookies, brownies, tiramisu and so many other sweet and savoury pastries. Like the vendors, they have no physical shop and often sell packages instead of single slices or pieces. They advertise online and heavily rely on good reviews & great pictures to keep the business running.
To this categiry, I’d say; Since the competition is stiiff, make your competitive advantage shine bright so people pick you time and time again. Also, answer problems people have with your fellow home bakers.
Finally, we have my dear category; Reviewing! Today, quite a number of people do reviews. We aren’t as many as Recipe Developers but we are slowly gaining popularity on the scene. Reviewers are dedicated to sharing with their followers their Food and/or Drink experiences. They sample products, restaurants, food, bars etc. and give their followers their feedback so they know what to expect when they go there!
The review may be in form of an article, a picture with a caption, instastory, etc.
Anyway guys, that’s all I had for you today!
Those not well defined by any of these categories but do a great job sharing Food content are probably Influencers in the Food Industry; who we also appreciate! Look out for the next posts covering each of these categories and let me know in the comments, who belongs to which category!
Thank you so much for stopping by!