Why r/weirdfood is a thing

Why r/weirdfood is a thing

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Confession time: we love Reddit. We can’t help it. It’s a strange internet world where we get to learn about people and culture in the most beautifully unfiltered way – humans share their feelings and thoughts with unguarded honesty, and detail their most obscure habits with zero shame. 

And there are loads of subreddits about food.* This week, we stumbled across a subreddit called r/weirdfood. And we want to tell you all about it.  

*(in case you don’t know, Reddit is a social media discussion site and a subreddit is a community on Reddit that talks about a specific topic – for example, r/hotfood). 

What’s r/weirdfood? 

It’s a Reddit community where people talk about…weird food. And it really is weird. 

But the thing we love most about it is that it shows, without a shadow of a doubt, how subjective ‘weirdness’ really is. 

Some posters think an apple with a bruised middle counts as weird. Others share photos of drinks bottles with unusual branding. Some write about surprising clumps of cheese, misshapen sweets, or vegetables that look like they have faces. 

And others post about dishes they eat at home that are (we think) truly bizarre: like rotisserie chicken breast on popcorn, with sugar sprinkles on top. 

Reddit was founded in 2005 by students at the University of Virginia, USA: Steve Huffman, Alexis Ohanian, and Aaron Swartz. It was acquired by Condé Nast Publications in 2006, and became an independent subsidiary of Advance Publications (Condé Nast’s parent company) in 2011.

Since then, the site has raised millions of dollars in funding rounds – including a $200 million round in 2017 for a $1.8 billion valuation, a $300 million funding round in 2019, and a $700 million funding round in 2021, when it reached a valuation of more than $10 billion. 

In December 2021 the company filed for an IPO at a valuation of $15 billion. Reddit’s ticker symbol on the stock market is RDDT

The site became popular because it’s all about community – with content organised into subreddits that allow people to…well, to find their people. Users can post text, images, and links, and respond to other users’ posts in a forum-style format. 

Part of the platform’s early success was down to its adoption by the international tech community. It became a place for programmers, hackers and bloggers to share ideas and opinions on new technologies and tech startups – and then it grew from there, expanding outwards to encompass topics across society and industry. 

Reddit is committed to free speech and to the privacy of its users. Most people post from anonymous accounts, which is why they post so freely; no shame, no censorship, no consequences. This comes with its own set of potential problems, of course – but it has enabled Reddit to become a trusted source of information and experiences from real human beings. 

It’s the real human experience part that is driving more and more internet users to add ‘reddit’ to the end of their search terms on Google and other search engines. When they want to avoid brand sponsored content, people use Reddit as a way to search the internet for genuine opinions. And that’s worth taking note of. 

Why should F&B brands take note? 

Because subreddits take you beyond commodified internet experiences and allow you to understand the intricacies of consumer preferences. Reddit is a pretty incredible tool for market research if you know how to navigate it: you can gain insights into the changing tides of consumer demand that aren’t influenced by paid advertising or other brands’ attempts to instigate new trends. 

r/weirdfood exists because people want to use the internet in ways that companies don’t necessarily want people to use the internet. To be honest, to be weird, to share their feelings. 

So if you want to understand your customers in a raw and not always very pretty way, Reddit is a good place to go. From r/breakfastfood to r/asianeats; r/bento to r/cakewins; there’s a subreddit for every F&B brand to explore. 

So go explore – and thank us later.  

Join us at InFlavour 2024 to grow your network, expand your knowledge, and build your business. We can’t wait to see you there.

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