Social media influencer marketing in the food and beverage industry


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Food and beverage (F&B) operators, including restaurants, cafeterias, cafés, bars and pubs, fast food joints, catering services, and food delivery platforms, actively seek to enhance their appeal and presence as well as to increase sales by partnering with food bloggers, social media influencers, and reviewers to create valuable content and viral marketing campaigns (Anjos et al., 2022). In recent times, F&B operators have shifted toward collaborating with micro-influencers, who provide the opportunity to curate a range of content formats such as blog posts, photos, videos, comments, and live broadcasts to engage with followers and turn them into customers (Park et al., 2021). Such collaborations can help F&B operators to focus their marketing efforts, boost their presence, increase awareness, and elevate sales (Vrontis et al., 2021). The right influencer can potentially generate, on average $17.50 for every $1 spent (Gutierrez, 2019). Social media influencers are those who have gained popularity on social media platforms, such as bloggers, YouTubers, and those with a large following on Instagram and the likes (Aw and Chuah, 2021).

Numerous research studies have investigated the impact of social media influencers on consumer behavior, including attitudes toward products (Belanche et al., 2021), purchase intentions (Masuda et al., 2022), impulsive buying (Koay et al., 2021), electronic word-of-mouth (Dhun and Dangi, 2022), mimic intentions (Ki and Kim, 2019), and brand engagement (Cheung et al., 2022). However, there is still a gap in our knowledge about how social media influencers affect consumers in the F&B industry. While several reviews on customer engagement (Lim and Rasul, 2022; Lim, Rasul et al., 2022), interactive marketing (Lim, Kumar et al., 2022), and social media influencer marketing (Bastrygina and Lim, 2023; Joshi et al., 2023) are available, additional research is required from a contextual perspective, especially given that few studies have investigated the impact of social media marketing on consumer behavior specific to the F&B industry. This special issue aims to fill this gap by inviting conceptual, empirical, and review studies employing qualitative, quantitative (including experimental), and mixed methods research designs.


List of topic areas

This special issue is interested in a range of topics related to the role of social media influencers in the F&B industry. Such topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The impact of influencers’ characteristics or personalities on consumers’ behavioral responses, including visiting and recommending F&B outlets, trying new menu items, and dining behavior.
  • The influence of influencers’ demographics, psychographics, and popularity signals on consumer behavior.
  • The effect of social media features and content, such as posts, reels, stories, or short videos, related to influencer marketing on consumer behavior. 
  • The impact of different types of captions in influencer marketing, including appeal (e.g., humor vs. informative) and length (e.g., long vs. short), on consumer behavior.
  • The influence of social media influencers’ reviews, comments, feedback, or ratings on consumer behavior. 
  • The impact of sponsorship disclosure of influencers on the effectiveness of promotion of F&B brands and products.
  • The ways in which consumers perceive social media influencers in F&B marketing. 
  • The criteria used by F&B operators to collaborate with a group of influencers from a network perspective, as well as how influencers choose F&B operators to collaborate with.
  • The extent to which influencer marketing affects traditional promotional tools used in the F&B industry.
  • The differences between influencer marketing and traditional advertising techniques in influencing consumer decision-making in the F&B industry.
  • Consumption,
  • Consumer choice,
  • Preferences and concerns,
  • Consumer attitudes,
  • Experiences,
  • Perceptions and decision-making,
  • Business,
  • Management and Marketing,
  • Food Marketing and promotion,
  • Distribution and retailing, including pricing, market models, labelling and branding,
  • Quality assurance practices and strategies, including traceability,
  • Brand equity,
  • Food supply, including supply chain and logistics,
  • Innovation and technology,
  • Health, welfare and education.


Guest Editors

Cheah Wei Cheah, 
Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, China, 
[email protected] 

Kian Yeik Koay, 
Sunway University, Malaysia, 
[email protected] 

Soo Yeong Ewe,
Monash University, Malaysia,
[email protected] 
Weng Marc Lim,
Sunway University, Malaysia and  Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and Malaysia,
[email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected]


Submissions Information 


Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below. 

Submit your paper here!

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. 
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal. 


Key Deadlines


Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 1 July 2023 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31 December 2023
Closing date for abstract submission: 31 October 2023 
Email for abstract submissions: [email protected]