Brands do as TikTok commands

Whatever TikTok wants, TikTok gets — including a quesadilla with fajita veggies and Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette.

TikTok app

Starbucks, Chipotle, and a host of other brands all have one thing in common: TikTok rules everything around them.

The ever-changing whims of the app’s 50m+ daily active users are changing the way businesses develop and release products, per The Wall Street Journal.

Whatever TikTok wants

Restaurants are modifying menus to satiate demands and ease worker burdens.

Chipotle officially added the “Keithadilla” — an off-menu hack popularized by influencers Alexis Frost and Keith Lee — to its menu after customers trying to order it created mayhem in stores.

At Starbucks, increasingly complicated TikTok drinks have become the bane of baristas’ existence — but the coffee chain’s no stranger to the internet’s demands: In 2017, pre-TikTok, Starbucks added the customer-created viral “Pink Drink” to its menu and released a bottled version in April.

Meanwhile…

… brands from fashion to food are monitoring trends in fashion and beauty, then work at lightning speed to get a product out before the fad fades.

  • Edikted, a fast-fashion company that contracts with third-party factories, can create new products in 12 days.
  • TikTok’s move away from tight skinny jeans inspired Aeropostale to increase its loose-fit denim offerings, which went from 7% of sales in 2020 to 40% in 2022; it saw a 15% increase in profits.
  • Dave’s Gourmet rushed to bring the viral (and controversial) Pink Sauce to market in 90 days.

If there’s any caveat…

… it’s that TikTok, and the internet in general, can be fickle. What’s hot one minute is dated the next, resulting in unlaunched products or unsold stock.

Fast fashion, in particular, has been called out for its negative impacts on the environment as it — and its customers — scramble to keep pace with mercurial trends.

That Keithadilla, though? That’s timeless.

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