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Rubix Foods Launches Influencer Network

The NEXT Flavor Network Will Bring Gen Z-Approved Concepts to Restaurant Menus

June 26, 2024 – Rubix Foods, a premier culinary and food science-focused provider of flavor and functional ingredients to restaurants, announced today its new insights generator: the NEXT Flavor Network. This exclusive group of taste-making social influencers will collaborate with the Rubix team by channeling the ideas, wants and cravings of their Gen Z audiences, supplying this insight directly to the company’s roster of quick-serve restaurant (QSR) customers. This newly established Network will serve as an extension to Rubix’s already robust market research and consumer insights department.

“Restaurant operators are focused on winning with Gen Z. We have to grow beyond traditional data-mining methods to gain insight about what Gen Z wants and meet these consumers where they’re having authentic conversations – and that’s social media,” explained Shannon O’Shields, vice president of marketing at Rubix Foods. “Through this network of influential creators, we’ll gain access to unmet needs, interests and preferences of their massive Gen Z followings and use that data to bring pre-approved, highly anticipated concepts to our customers.”

The Network is launching with three members and plans to grow in the year ahead. More than concept inspiration, the Network will also provide Rubix with feedback on formulas and menu builds that they develop and present to their customers, which include more than half of the top QSR chains in the United States.

The founding members of Rubix’s NEXT Flavor Network are:

Frost, who was a Nation’s Restaurant News 2024 Power List honoree, and Llorin, who has collaborated with brands like McDonald’s, gained popularity from their viral in-car food reviews and menu hacks at various chain restaurants. Whereas James, who starred in season 25 of The Bachelor, has become recognizable on social media as a prolific foodie. Collectively, Frost, James and Llorin have amassed over 5 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined and more than 47% of their following is Gen Z, which was a key factor for Rubix when selecting influencers to join the Network.

“There is a cultural magnetism to food influencers like Alexis, Matt and Nate; their content is changing the way Gen Z discovers, craves and chooses their food experiences,” said O’Shields. “We believe the next evolution of food influencers will be much more than a credible voice for restaurant recommendations. There is huge potential in leveraging these trusted advisors earlier in the process, partnering with them and their communities to inform and develop concepts before they make it to menus.”

Flavors developed in partnership with this year’s NEXT Flavor Network will be available for the public to try at a pop-up outside Grant Park during Lollapalooza in Chicago on Aug. 3, 2024.* Taste testers will be asked to vote for their favorite flavor and results will be shared in real time via a digital leaderboard. In October, the data and insights gathered through the NEXT Flavor Network’s inaugural year will be released in an immersive industry report on Gen Z flavor preferences.

Keep up to date with the NEXT Flavor Network and Gen Z report at rubixfoods.com/next-flavor-network.

*Lollapalooza does not endorse or sponsor the NEXT Flavor Network or Rubix Foods.

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