How to choose the right social media platforms for your food marketing strategy: a comparison and analysis

As a food entrepreneur and marketer, understanding the differences between social media platforms and their suitability for food marketing is essential, especially if you want your social media marketing to deliver positive ROI.

This blog post compares and analyzes popular social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest, to help you make informed decisions about your food marketing strategy.

1. Instagram

Instagram has become a go-to platform for food marketing, thanks to its visually appealing interface and the popularity of food-related content. The platform’s 1 billion monthly active users make it an excellent choice for reaching a broad audience.


  • Highly visual platform ideal for showcasing food photography and videos.
  • Instagram Stories and Reels offer additional opportunities for engagement.
  • Access to a broad demographic of users, including millennials and Gen Z.


  • High competition for attention can make it challenging to stand out.
  • Algorithm changes may affect content visibility and organic reach.
  • Expensive to acquire new customers

Demographics Instagram 2023

  1. Age: According to a survey conducted in March 2023, the distribution of Instagram users in the United States by age group is as follows: 13% of users are aged 13-17, 25% are aged 18-24, 27% are aged 25-34, 18% are aged 35-44, 9% are aged 45-54, and 8% are aged 55 and above. [4]
  2. Gender: 52.8% of Instagram users are men, and 47.2% are women. [5]
  3. Location: 88% of Instagram users live outside of the United States. As of 2022, there were 13.8 million Instagram users in Canada, and the number is predicted to continue growing to 14.3 million in 2023. Additionally, there are 170.8 million active Instagram users in North America. [3] [5]
  4. Generations: Millennials and Gen Z will account for 71.7% of Instagram’s US users in 2022 and more than three-quarters in 2025. Instagram’s growth among teens is marginal, and the platform is predicted to add just 400,000 teen users between 2020 and 2025. [2]

In summary, Instagram’s latest user demographics indicate that the platform’s largest user demographic is aged 18-24, and there are slightly more male users than female users. Additionally, the majority of Instagram users live outside of the United States, and Millennials and Gen Z are the core user groups.

2. Facebook

Facebook still remains a popular choice for food marketing due to its 2.91 billion monthly active users. The platform offers useful features for engaging with customers, such as Facebook Groups and Facebook Live.


  • Large user base offers extensive reach and targeting options.
  • Integration with Instagram for cross-posting content.
  • Facebook Ads allow for advanced targeting and analytics.
  • Useful to reach an older demographic.


  • Organic reach has declined, increasing reliance on paid advertising.
  • Recent controversies have impacted the platform’s reputation.

Demographics Facebook 2023

  1. Age: As of March 2023, the largest audience for Facebook in the United States was aged between 25 and 34 years, making up 23.8 percent of Facebook users in the country. Overall, 18.4 percent of users were aged between 35 and 44 years, while 14.9 percent were aged between 18 and 24 years. [1]
  2. Gender: As of January 2023, men between the ages of 25 and 34 years made up Facebook’s largest audience globally, accounting for 17.6 percent of users. [4]
  3. Usage rate: As of May 2022, North America had the highest active Facebook usage rate, with 82.3 percent of the population accessing the social media platform. [3]
  4. Overall usage: As of 2023, 193.9 million Americans use Facebook every month, which means that 58.8 percent of the American population uses Facebook. Facebook has lost 15 million users since 2017. [2]

In summary, the latest North American demographics for Facebook indicate that the largest audience is aged between 25 and 34 years, and men between the ages of 25 and 34 years make up Facebook’s largest audience globally. Additionally, North America has the highest active Facebook usage rate, and the platform has lost 15 million users since 2017.

3. TikTok

TikTok is a short-form video platform that has gained immense popularity, particularly among younger audiences. With 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok presents a unique opportunity for food entrepreneurs to create engaging, shareable content.


  • High potential for viral content and rapid audience growth.
  • Effective platform for reaching Gen Z and younger demographics.
  • Opportunity to showcase food preparation and behind-the-scenes content.


  • Limited to short-form video content.
  • The platform is relatively new, with a less established marketing ecosystem.

Demographics TikTok 2023

  1. Age: TikTok’s largest age group is between the ages of 18 and 24. The single largest group of TikTok users is female 18-24 year-olds, making up 23.8% of TikTok’s users. Roughly 5% of TikTok’s global audience are women between 18 and 24 years old, and around 17% of the platform’s audience are men between 18 and 24 years old. 55+ year-olds are the smallest group on TikTok, at 1.7%. [1] [2] [4]
  2. Gender: 54.1% of global TikTok users are female, and 45.9% are male. The majority of TikTok creators are also female, at 53.79%, while 46.21% are male. [4] [1]
  3. Market: In the second quarter of 2022, the leading markets based on TikTok Google Play revenue were the United States, Japan, and Great Britain. [3]
  4. Downloads: TikTok was the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store for Q2 2022, with more than 60 million downloads. TikTok has been downloaded 611 million times in India, which is around 30% of the app’s total global downloads. [5]

In summary, the latest demographics for TikTok indicate that the platform’s largest age group is between 18 and 24 years old, with female users making up the majority of TikTok’s global audience. Additionally, TikTok is popular in the United States, Japan, and Great Britain, and the platform has been downloaded over 611 million times in India.

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual discovery platform that allows users to save and share images, or “pins,” in themed collections called “boards.” With over 442 million monthly active users, Pinterest offers food entrepreneurs a unique way to showcase their products and inspire potential customers.


  • Highly visual platform, ideal for sharing recipes and food photography.
  • Longer content lifespan compared to other platforms.
  • Users actively seek inspiration and ideas, increasing the likelihood of purchase intent.


  • Demographics skew heavily towards female users, which may limit audience reach.
  • Less suitable for real-time engagement and conversation.

Pinterest Demographics 2023

  1. Age: The majority of Pinterest users fall into the 18-34 age range, which makes up 61.9% of Pinterest’s users. The 35-44 category follows with 15.5%, and the 45-54 and 55-64 age ranges follow, with 9.3% each. [3]
  2. Gender: Women make up more than 60% of Pinterest’s global audience, while men make up 40% of Pinners. According to Pinterest’s latest audience statistics, men are one of the platform’s largest growing demographics. [1] [2] [4]
  3. Age and gender: When segmented by age, people in the 30-39 age bracket make up the largest chunk of Pinterest’s user base, accounting for 23.9% of users. The second-largest group are 40 to 49-year-olds, making up 20.1% of Pinterest’s user base. In terms of gender, 77.1% of Pinterest’s audiences are female, while 14.5% are male. [4] [5]
  4. Monthly active users: Pinterest’s global monthly active users (MAUs) grew 30% year over year to 478 million. [4]

In summary, the latest demographics for Pinterest indicate that the majority of the platform’s users fall into the 18-34 age range, with women making up the majority of the audience. However, men are one of the platform’s largest growing demographics. Additionally, people in the 30-39 age bracket make up the largest chunk of Pinterest’s user base, and the platform’s global monthly active users (MAUs) grew 30% year over year to 478 million.

5. YouTube

YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing platform, with over 2 billion logged-in monthly active users. Food entrepreneurs can leverage YouTube to create engaging, informative, and entertaining video content for their audience.


  • Extensive reach and diverse user base.
  • Ideal platform for long-form video content, including recipe tutorials, product demonstrations, and behind-the-scenes footage.
  • YouTube videos can be easily embedded on websites and shared across other social media platforms.


  • High competition and the need for consistent, high-quality video content.
  • Video production can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Youtube Demographics 2023

According to recent studies, YouTube has a large user base of young adults aged between 18-29 years, with 95% of them reporting usage in 2021. Meanwhile, only 49% of adults aged 65 and over report using the platform [1]. Although younger adults constitute a significant portion of YouTube’s audience, the platform has seen significant growth in watch time among older adults. In fact, between 2015 and 2016, watch time on YouTube more than doubled among adults aged 18+ and almost tripled among adults aged 55+ [2].

Regarding gender demographics, male users make up 53.9% of YouTube’s viewership, while female users account for 46.1% of visitors [3][5]. The largest age group on YouTube is aged 25-34 years, accounting for 20.7% of all YouTube users. Within this group, 11.9% are male and 8.8% are female. The second-largest age group is aged 35-44, with 16.7% of YouTube users in this range [4].

6. Snapchat

Snapchat is a popular multimedia messaging app with over 300 million monthly active users. This platform allows users to send and receive temporary, self-deleting images and videos, as well as create and share ‘Stories’ that last for 24 hours. Food entrepreneurs can use Snapchat to give their audience a behind-the-scenes look at their operations and engage with customers in real-time.


  • Unique, ephemeral content format encourages spontaneous and authentic sharing.
  • Popular among younger demographics, especially Gen Z users.
  • Geofilters and lenses provide creative branding and promotional opportunities.


  • Limited organic reach and discoverability compared to other platforms.
  • Content disappears after a short time, making it less suitable for evergreen marketing materials.

Snapchat Demographics 2023

The Snapchat audience is predominantly female with 56.4% female users and 43.1% male users [1]. The largest age group on Snapchat is 18 to 24-year-olds, making up 39% of Snapchat’s advertising audience [2]. About 65% of US internet users aged 15 to 29 use Snapchat, but Snapchat usage penetration in the US is below 25% for internet users over 30 [1]. In terms of global usage, India has the most Snapchat users with 115.95 million, followed by the US with 106.2 million [3]. France is the third country based on the Snapchat audience with 24.1 million users [3]. The usage statistics show that the majority of the platform’s audience consists of people aged 15-25, at 48%, followed by users between 26-35 at 30% and 36-45 years at 18% [5].

In summary, the Snapchat audience is mostly female, and the largest age group is 18 to 24-year-olds. India has the most Snapchat users globally, while the majority of the platform’s audience is aged 15-25.


Each social media platform offers unique advantages and challenges for food marketing. Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube provide broad reach and versatile content options, while TikTok and Pinterest cater to niche audiences with highly visual, engaging content.

It’s essential to evaluate your target audience, content strategy, and marketing goals when choosing the right platforms for your food marketing campaign.

Remember, it’s not necessary to be present on every platform. Instead, focus on the platforms that best align with your target audience and content strategy to maximize the effectiveness of your food marketing efforts.

Learn more

Andreas Duess, food marketing expert
Andreas Duess, Food Marketing Expert

Whether you need help figuring out how to make your social media deliver positive ROI or your packaging actually support sales off shelf, or any other food-related challenge, we’re here for you. 

Book a free 15-minute discovery call with me. I am happy to discuss your food or drinks business and any questions you may have.

 No sales, no obligations, just straightforward advice. 

Other articles you may find useful

Our partners