Vlogging is quite a new thing compared to blogging that actually started in India just a decade and a half ago. At least I haven’t heard the words vlog or Vlogger till five years back if not more. For the last couple of years and especially after lockdowns the trend of Vlogging has increased in India and probably the world. In this Vlogging era, being Food Vloggers seems to be the ‘in thing’ and everyone is highly enthusiastic to start or talk about his or her Food Vlog.
Being a writer for almost a decade now I can feel that talking before the camera is much easier than writing on your laptop. Some of us, the writers, still prefer to note down the entire blog or bullet points in a notebook and then write it in their system. In comparison, Vlogging looks easy as you just need to talk about what you think about things. Mind you not everyone is good at talking, in general, forget talking before a camera and a microphone.
But, the way Food Vloggers have mushroomed in India I can take a wild guess that Indians are very much comfortable talking before the camera and microphone that too out in the open with so many people around them. Being a Gujarati and a foodie myself, I mostly follow Gujarati Flood Vloggers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch the Hindi or English versions of it. Because of this ‘mix watching’ of Food Vlogging, I found that most of these Vloggers who talk about food are type cast or in other words stereo-typed.
I am not painting each and every Food Vlogger with the same color, but then at the same time I can’t ignore those facts that I can see in front of me. I have also been into Vlogging for the last 7 to 8 months, not regularly though, so I know despite me talking in front of the camera is easy, the post-shooting part is very difficult even if you do your Vlogging indoors. So for Food Vloggers who go out to shoot their Vlogs and then they have to do the post-shooting things like editing etc. will be quite painstaking.
So, I am not writing this with an intention to put Food Vloggers in bad light, but there are many things that make their Vlogging irritating to the viewers. They keep on repeating a few things that make their viewers leave their video in the middle or don’t let them come back to watch their other videos.
Here are a few things that I believe Food Vloggers do to irritate their viewers and should avoid.
Frequency – Too many videos in a week
I have seen a few Food Vloggers who are posting their videos on YouTube every day. Nothing wrong with this, probably their thought process is that more videos mean more views mean more subscribers mean more money. But, when they cross a certain threshold for the qualification of earning money, they should lessen their video posting frequency, in my honest opinion. What they do is that they pick and choose one city, go there and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week or even fifteen days.
Sometimes, they have all their meals twice or thrice a day. So in one day, they must be shooting at least nine videos, and thus for the next nine days, the viewer will see videos of their food tour of a single day. Again, nothing wrong with that, but the question is that if they eat this much in a day, and forget their health, will they do justice to the fourth or fifth shop’s or restaurant’s food quality and taste? Because their tummy is almost full or more than full, I personally don’t think they can actually manage to decide whether the taste of that dish is really good or not.
Hence, the suggestion is that if they can shoot three food shops or restaurants per day, per meal they can do the fair justice to their ‘expertize on food’ and also can give right ‘review’ to their viewers. This will also decrease the frequency of their videos per week and thus they will have more viewers returning to their respective channels. If the expenses do not allow them to stay in the same city for a certain amount of days, then they can certainly come back after few months and can have different seasons of that particular place.
Communication – Keeps on talking will not help anyone
For me talking about food on a Food Vlog is to show the food and the preparation more and while doing that the presenter must talk as less as possible. But most Indian Food Vloggers do exactly the opposite. They keep on talking to the roadside food stall owner, restaurant owner, or chef. This makes preparation of the food less important than what they talk about.
The best thing is that they can do a small interview about everything they normally talk about while the food is getting prepared etc before that process starts. They can ask about how old this shop or restaurant is, who started it, what is so special about this shop, where it is situated in that city, what is the best dish and ultimately how they are going to cook the dish that they are going to shoot. Once such an interview is done, I think the viewer is smart enough to understand what is happening and he can actually understand how a particular dish is getting cooked.
Repetition – Avoid same things get repeated in every video
“Oh! This must be your secret recipe”, must be the most repeated phrase in the world of Indian Food Vlogging. I wonder why a Food Vlogger must ask the chef or the person who is cooking a certain dish a question that this must be your secret recipe and you will not disclose it. It is a universal fact that on a recipe or a formula, on which a certain business is running great and yielding the best results for the owners, can’t be revealed, especially by the person who is running that business. Yet, these guys ask about it or some even laugh about it (which is really of a bad taste) while shooting almost each and every video.
Another thing which one can observe in most of the Indian Food Vlogging videos is “Yeh Amul ka butter hai?” “Yeh Amul ki cheese hogi” and of course “Aap kabhi quality pe compromise nahi karte”! I mean… which food shop or restaurant owner will not accept these obvious things? We all know which dairy product brand is the most popular or most trustworthy in India and yet Food Vloggers keep on asking about them while they shoot their videos. Regarding quality compromise, again we expect that no one from the food and beverages industry will compromise on the quality of the food they serve, but even if they do will they commit that in front of a camera?
Good Mixture – Food Vlogging must be a priority but still it can be more interesting
Most of the Indian Food Vloggers I have seen, barring a few, do only Food Vlogging and that is why after a certain number of episodes they become boring and stereotyped. But if they want to make their video more interesting, then they can show one or two popular or not so popular places in the city where they are covering the food. There are very few Food Vloggers who share important information about the city they are visiting. If they spare at least two or two and a half minutes for such information their Food Vlogging will become more interesting even if the dish they are showing is not.
Boasting – You are doing this for yourself, not for your viewers
Finally, I am going to touch the boasting part of Indian Food Vloggers that irritates me the most. Nowadays, many Food Vloggers repeatedly say that I am bringing this new dish, or new restaurant for you, or I have traveled so much for you so that I can bring this variety of food for you, I am doing this for you, I am doing that for you and blah, blah, blah!
No, my friend, you are not doing this for us; on the contrary, you are doing this for yourself. We all know how much YouTube is going to pay you for this video as it has already so many views and your channels has more than a million subscribers. So you are not obliging us by traveling to deep north, south, east, or west of the country. You know that you need to upload and publish Food Vlogs on your YouTube channel and only then you will get the ‘traffic’ and that will earn you a good amount of money and thus you will run your home affairs quite easily.
So, stop boasting my dear Food Vloggers, you are not obliging us because there are thousands of others like you on YouTube and if we don’t like your way of the presentation we will unsubscribe your channel and go somewhere else. We are just increasing our knowledge about various foods from various cities through your channel but ultimately we are the boss being your ‘customers’ and not you.
These are the five points I was thinking for a long period of time that Indian Food Vloggers irritate the most and should avoid them to make their Vlog watchable if not interesting. I have put forward my views with utmost humbleness and as a viewer of such Food Vlogging channels and not as an expert.
I am sure you must have your views on our Food Vloggers, if you do, then don’t stop commenting in the comments section given below.
Until we meet for the next blog, it’s Avjo from my side.