What one of the world’s ‘largest and most engaged food conversations’ tells us about food trends

What started as a group of friends helping each other learn to cook at university (‘we made it simple enough to fit on the back of a beer mat’) has grown into SORTEDfood, a ‘social media movement’ dedicated to cooking.

SORTEDfood now has almost 3m YouTube followers, 270k Instagram followers, 180k Twitter followers and a paid membership option that has grown over 300% in the last year.

“SORTED started as that conversation. How can we improve our own food lives? At some point it felt like a fun idea to film ourselves and put them onto YouTube. That’s where it started to catch on,”​ co-founder and head of comms and partnerships, Jamie Spafford, reflected.

“That was 11 years ago. Nothing much has changed, except it has continued to grow. The community is now over 3m strong around the world. It has become one of the largest and most engaged food conversations on the internet.”

Listening to the community

SORTEDfood’s content is shaped by this diverse community, fellow co-founder and chef Ben Ebbrell explained.

“We started creating content for students when we were students. As we’ve grown up our audience have matured with us, but there is still a skew to younger [people] and all sorts of different lifestyles and budget restraints,​” he told us.

“The community always shaped our development – we know there is an audience for our content because the audience have asked for it and helped shape it. We very quickly realised we sat at the heart of probably one of the most dynamic and interesting and inclusive food communities across the world. It was less about the four of us you see on screen, the 20 of us that work in the studio, all of a sudden we had millions of people contributing.”