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Rubix Foods’ New Influencer Network Taps Into 5 Million Gen Z Followers For Fresh Restaurant Flavors

Rubix Foods, a flavor and functional ingredients provider to restaurants, announced the launch of its NEXT Flavor Network, a group of social media influencers to capture Gen Z preferences for quick-serve restaurants (QSRs). The network, comprising three initial members with a combined following of over 5 million on TikTok and Instagram, serves as an extension of Rubix’s market research and consumer insights department.

Shannon O’Shields, Vice President of Marketing at Rubix Foods, explains, “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.”

The founding members include Alexis Frost, Matt James, and Nate Llorin. Frost, a 2024 Nation’s Restaurant News Power List honoree, and Llorin have gained popularity through viral in-car food reviews and menu hacks. James, known from season 25 of The Bachelor, has established himself as a foodie on social media. Collectively, 47% of their following is Gen Z, a key factor in Rubix’s selection process.

The network will provide Rubix with the unmet needs, interests, and preferences of their Gen Z followers. This data will be used to develop pre-approved concepts for Rubix’s customers, which include more than half of the top QSR chains in the United States. The influencers will also offer feedback on formulas and menu builds developed by Rubix.

Flavors developed through this collaboration will be available for public tasting at a pop-up outside Grant Park during Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 3, 2024. Taste testers will vote for their favorite flavor, with results shared in real-time via a digital leaderboard.

In October, Rubix plans to release an industry report on Gen Z flavor preferences based on data and insights gathered through the NEXT Flavor Network’s inaugural year.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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