Love Island has brought us many things. Phrases that will never die (‘the ick’). New depths of public humiliation. And, this series, a boost to Italian cuisine.

In a famous moment during the final week, the winning couple cemented their relationship over tiramisu, made by ‘Italian stallion’ Davide Sanclimenti.

The gesture didn’t just win over his partner, self-proclaimed ‘Turkish delight’ Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu (who is surely gunning for a Fry’s tie-up). It also influenced buying habits.

In the wake of the tiramisu ceremony, supermarket sales of the dessert increased by 11.4% with almost 25,000 additional products sold [NielsenIQ w/e 30 July 2022]. 

Baileys even tried to piggyback on Sanclimenti’s influence after the final, tweeting tiramisu was “obvs the secret ingredient to a winning love life”.

Sanclimenti also worked his magic on pasta. Searches for carbonara peaked after he cooked the dish to impress his fellow contestants in the Love Island Talent Show, according to Google Trends data.

No doubt this will prove a boost for Sanclimenti, who has been tipped to get his own cooking show as result. But more importantly, it shows the power of the show – typically known for its influence on fashion – on food and drink choices. 

No longer is Love Island a laughable ITV2 niche. It has built up a broad appeal and influence to draw in 3.4 million viewers for this year’s finale – the highest number recorded since 2019.

The series is increasingly attracting some notable food and drink sponsors – with successful results. See sponsor Emmi Caffè Latte, which points to a 19.3% increase in sales across the iced coffee category since the show began this year [Nielsen]. Although the weather will have played a role, Emmi believes the influence of “coffee-loving Islanders” – including Sanclimenti – has certainly helped.

Then there’s WKD, which last year celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Love Island partnership. It renewed the tie-up this year, having reported a good response from consumers.

Sponsorship isn’t the only way of getting in on the action. Vita Coco recently snapped up Ovie Soko – one of the most likeable contestants of season five – for its ‘Impossible to Hate’ campaign. Fellow cast-member Tommy Fury was recruited to star in a Hellmann’s ad in 2019, after revealing his penchant for mayonnaise.

Of course, linking up with a reality TV series – especially one with live elements and unpredictable contestants – carries an element of risk. During this year’s live final, contestant Luca Bish said he looked forward to ordering a Deliveroo with his partner Gemma Owen – which was unlikely to have gone down well with the show’s main sponsor, Just Eat.

Still, as Sanclimenti’s tiramisu trend proves, the potential opportunities presented by Love Island outweigh the downsides. Now, who’s betting on him coupling up with a tiramisu brand in the near future?