Besides evolving to one of the most popular social platforms reaching 1 billion active users per monthly, Instagram has become an effective advertising channel used by businesses to not only increase visibility and traffic but also to play a role in shaping consumers’ beliefs and attitudes towards brands. Parallel to that, the growth of consumers' concerns regarding global issues has led to the emergence of a new lifestyles of health and sustainability (LOHAS) trend, which involves new values and more responsible and sustainable consumption behavior. Food represents one main aspect that contributes to this holistic way of life. Therefore, aligning with this increasing demand represents business opportunities for food companies. As such, the implementation of healthy and conscious lifestyle branding has been used in marketing and appears to be a powerful strategy at the moment. Instagram as an advertising channel appears to represent a substantial means to reach this aim, so it is relevant to study the ways brands make use of Instagram. By combining in-depth interviews and textual analysis research methods, and making use of an interdisciplinary theoretical approach, this thesis empirically investigates how food companies use Instagram as an advertising channel to be perceived as healthy and conscious lifestyle brands. The interviews with brand representatives and a selection of Instagram posts serve to research the problem based on six food brands. A thematic analysis method is used to analyze the complete data. The findings indicate that several aspects play a role in the advertising of healthy and conscious food brands on Instagram. First, the platform appears to be highly valuable to reach specific consumer segments, most notably the possibility to select the target of LOHAS audience, and to tailor Instagram content relevant to health, environmental and ethical perspectives. Second, the promotion of products through advertising appeals is implemented by incorporating emotional and rational product benefits. Third, the opportunity is taken to address major themes connecting to lifestyle trend values, such as the display of utopian atmosphere, the demonstration of transparency and sustainable commitments, the wellness dimension, and authenticity.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, Instagram advertising, Lifestyles of health and sustainability, Food brands, Food marketing, Advertising appeals.
Thesis Advisor T. de la Hera
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/50210
Series Media & Business
Citation
M. Blanc. (2019, June 24). THE USE OF INSTAGRAM BY FOOD BRANDS: ADVERTISING CHANNEL FOR HEALTHY AND CONSCIOUS LIFESTYLE PERCEPTION. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50210