The digital influence of Top Chefs for Challenges

21 June 2019

Reputation Impact Survey


In the chaotic world of the web, gastronomy has become an anchor that looks like millions of internet users, hashtags and publications. For chefs, this represents an opportunity to showcase their work and creations. Their notoriety, their talent and their gastronomic culture have allowed them to present themselves as true influencers, by appropriating the communication codes typical of social networks. To try to understand the digital impact of some of the starred chefs chosen by the Challenges editorial team, Reputation Age analyzed their online communities and their engagement on their social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). The analysis of their online presence takes into account their cumulative audience (i.e. the number of subscribers on each network added together), the rate of engagement (the percentage of interaction per post), the number of translations and consultations of their Wikipedia pages. While the study spans a six-month period (December 2018 to May 2019); Wikipedia’s statistics were analyzed over a year to give a more global view of their awareness and to smooth out possible audience spikes (due to current events). This analysis allowed us to establish a digital influence ranking between the different leaders. As previously mentioned, this takes into account a selection of data, as objective as possible, classified according to a scale and a weighting determined by Reputation Age.

What can we learn from this analysis?

The analysis of the various shows once again that Instagram is indeed the network of aesthetics and lovers of culinary creations. No wonder #foodporn is so popular. For our chefs, it is therefore the most powerful social network in terms of influence and engagement. If they show their creations, they also reveal the behind-the-scenes of their kitchens, which creates a certain engagement among foodies. Regarding the impact of chefs, it is obvious that the chefs who receive the most media coverage through traditional media such as television or the press have a more powerful community. However, it seems interesting to look at the rise of some chefs who have become popular thanks to a very active presence on social networks. We can take the example of Juan Arbaleaz, king of Instagram (not ranked). An interactive community produces much more interesting engagement performances than a large and scattered community. We can take the example of Anne Sophie Pic, whose cumulative audience is not the strongest in the ranking and yet whose engagement is so strong that she ranks second overall. The podium for the digital impact of chefs is made up of Alain Ducasse in first place, followed by Anne-Sophie Pic and Alain Passard. These chefs, all three triple starred, are also among those who have turned their name into a brand.

What is happening on the other side of the world to our chefs?

A general analysis of Chinese social networks (Weibo and Wechat) has shown that the most influential chefs are those who have succeeded in associating their name with a brand anchored in the international imagination. Alain Ducasse is the chef who has the most searches on his name. Thierry Marx and Guy Savoy follow.

Full Analysis