In this week’s social media round-up, we’re slicing through the buzz of social media to see what’s happening in the world of grocery.

The UK’s cost of cheese crisis highlights economic woes, Ocado, Itsu and Lidl hop on gen Z trends and an M&S shopper finds out just how much power the yellow sticker ladies hold

Cost of cheese crisis

Last week saw the kick-off of the UK election run-up, including a shock announcement from the Conservative Party on bringing back mandatory national service for 18 year olds. Social media lit up with reactions.

BBC News tweeted asking its followers’ opinions on the campaign promise. @GusTheFox replied with “Shall we start by bringing back not having alarms on cheese and then work up from there?” with a picture of Aldi cheese. The post has 1.5 million views at time of writing and his statement clearly resonated – commenters like @KatieJD3 said: “In my local Tesco earlier and huge security boxes around single steaks or pork chops. This government has done this”. @AshKin21763229 added: “And thats the low grade stuff as well. They must have the cathedral city locked in a safe.”

Thefts have more than doubled in the past three years, costing retailers £953m annually, says the BRC. PM Rishi Sunak this week backtracked on his announced standalone offence for those that assault retail workers. However, with 655,000 people using a Trussell Trust food bank for the first time in the UK between April 2023 and March 2024, critics say the government is not addressing the root cause of shoplifting – people struggling to afford basic food due to an austerity born cost of living crisis

Read more:


@ocado Big van, on time, strong hands 🤝🎶 Now delivering the real song of the summer 🚚 💜 Starring: James 😎 @ocadologistics Inspo: @Girl On Couch #finance #songofthesummer ♬ Looking for a man Ocado remix - Ocado

Ocado has jumped on the “I’m looking for a man in finance” TikTok trend, launching its own version of the song ”I’m looking for a man with a big van”, starring one of its delivery drivers, James. The video went viral with 800k views in just one week. User @marsfaem commented: “Honestly after deleting all the dating apps I feel my Ocado driver is my only hope – they are always so polite”.

More and more food brands and supermarkets are seeing the value of trends and marketing with social media with Tesco last week launching new TikTok trend inspired salad bays. Tesco prepared salad buying manager Emily Hampson said: “More exciting salads appear to be a foodie focus now, with increasingly imaginative creations, with a varied range of inclusions appearing on TikTok and Instagram. Through our salad creations bay we want to inspire customers to make their own best-ever salads at home.”

Read more:


Itsu taps gen z

Itsu has jumped on a (quite old) trend of reinterpreting common gen Z slang with alternate meanings to engage younger audiences. By redefining acronyms like LOL as “lots of lime” and GTG as “get the gyoza”, Itsu is attempting to appear relatable, making the brand more appealing to gen Z consumers.

This strategy not only enhances brand visibility but also drives social media engagement, hopefully for the brand, leading to sales. Itsu’s social media approach highlights the increasing importance for brands to remain culturally relevant and connect with digitally savvy consumers. 

Read more:


Power of the yellow sticker ladies

@freeloading_chaz Replying to @Maxwell you heard it here first #yellowsticker #mands #marksandspencer #fyp ♬ edamame - bbno$

In a viral TikTok video, user @freeloading_chaz interviews M&S Food worker Marcia reveals the significant control M&S food shopworkers have over applying yellow sticker discounts on near-expiry items. The video implies that employees can offer more significant discounts if customers are friendly and polite.

This insight into the discounting process highlights the potential benefits of good customer service and personal interactions in retail settings – not just for workers but for shoppers too. With retail worker abuse on the rise, nearly half a million retail abuse incidents were recorded last year, according to the BRC. That’s an increase of 50% on 2022, and nearly treble the figure pre-pandemic. This surge in abuse has been attributed to several factors, including the stresses of the pandemic, increased economic pressures, and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Read more:


Cheese twisties for Swifties

Lidl is jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon with a pun on her fanbase’s name, ‘Swifties’, to promote the permanent return of their cheese ‘twisties’. Mocking up a fake tour poster from the viral and multimillion-making Eras tour, the poster depicts one of the savoury snacks as the pop star with the tour date as 30 May – the day the treats will launch in stores.

Fans of the cheese twists like @jovi_jo_blue_girl_forever commented: “Whoever’s on your marketing team please give them a raise as this is amusing” as well as @dan_lewis87, who admited: “Hurtburn through the roof but I’ll still demolish 5 at a time.”

Read more: