The Atlantic‘s Jessica Leigh Hester has a nice write-up in the January/February issue about an amusing trend that has taken off in Japan and is spreading via YouTube: Tiny Food. She explains:
YouTube is replete with Japanese tiny-food videos. Their creators shrink recipes to Lilliputian dimensions: pancakes the size of nickels, burgers compact enough to flip with chopsticks. The meals may be extremely diminutive, but they’re edible. Most of the ingredients are hulking compared with the finished products, but whenever possible, the chefs choose smaller stand-ins: Pearl onions or shallots sub for their bigger counterparts, and quail eggs replace chicken eggs.
Interest in tiny food videos has really taken off during the past three years, as this chart of search volume for Tiny Food, Tiny Cooking, Miniature Food, and Miniature Cooking from Google Trends illustrates.
4 Examples Of Tiny Food Videos
Tiny food videos are a version of the How To video genre that is so popular on YouTube, even if most of the viewers of thse videos will never try to make tiny food. This example from the Tastemade channel (773,000 subscribers) includes recipe in the video’s description.
The Pocket Resort channel (100,000 subscribers) frames its tiny food videos in terms of a game show format.
In addition to producing tiny food videos, the Miniature Space channel (1.1 million subscribers) has branched out to selling miniature kitchenware. This promo video, despite extremelly poor quality sound, has earned 77,000 views.
While most tiny food videos use pretty basic recipes, they do not all keep it simple. This example from the Walking With Giants channel (293,000 subscribers) illustrates the point with mini lasagna how-to.
While bizarrely amusing, the appeal of tiny food videos proves that by putting a new twist (tiny) on a tried and true format (the cooking show), you can create a new category and build an audience with compelling content.