18 Food Photography Statistics to Dominate the Industry 2024

Food Photography Statistics

We know how hard it is to find relevant statistics about food photography, and that’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of food photography statistics just for you!

The internet can be a scary place—you never know what you’re going to find. But this list is designed to help you make informed decisions about your food photography efforts.

We understand that there are tons of people like you out there who want to learn more about food photography and how it can impact their business (or whatever they do). These statistics will help you stay up-to-date on where the industry stands today so that you can make informed decisions about where it’s headed tomorrow.

The great thing about these food photography statistics is that they cover everything from demographics to consumer behavior patterns across multiple platforms, so no matter what kind of information you’re looking for, there’s something here for everyone!

General Food Photography Statistics

1. Food and drink are the top interests for 43% of Instagram users


Studies into the social media content typically sought by Instagram users reveal that food photography can be extremely valuable in earning online attention. According to a report commissioned by Facebook, 91% of Instagram fans use the platform to follow one of their “top interests.”

The users surveyed revealed the three most significant types of content they search for on Instagram are related to food and drink (43%), music (44%), and travel (45%).

While the interests of consumers differ among various geographical regions, food and drink remains a consistently strong category for earning Instagram attention. In fact, there are over 488M posts tagged with #food on Instagram.


2. 40% upload images of food they don’t intend to consume

(California Figs)

In a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the California Figs brand, 2,000 people were surveyed about their personal food photography habits. The review found that everyday people are spending more time taking pictures of their meals – even when they don’t intend to eat them.

40% of the respondents admitted to uploading beverages and images they didn’t consume, and 19% said they had never intended to eat the food – only take the picture.

A further 57% said they have rearranged a dish to make it look more appealing in a photo. What’s more, 59% of the respondents have stopped friends from eating food so they could get a photo first.


3. Social media users are most likely to notice photos of pizza

(California Figs)

For social media users, pizza remains one of the most appetizing foods to photograph. According to a California Figs Survey of 2000 users, people were most likely to notice photos of pizza before anything else (41%). Around 37% said they notice images of burgers first.

30% of consumers said they’re first attracted by images of cocktails on social media, while 1 in 6 users said photogenic fruits like yuzu capture their attention. 68% of the respondents said after seeing an image of figs on their timeline encouraged them to try a recipe themselves.


4. Sweets and desserts are the most common items in food photography


An infographic shared by 360i found sweets and desserts to be the most common items shown in food photography.

The report also discovered that 72% of food pictures shared online showcased a main meal, rather than a small food item or snack. The reporters identified larger meals like dinner as the most common meal to share.

After sweets and snacks, vegetables had a strong presence in food photography trends (17.8%), followed by poultry (13%) and various other kinds of meat (10.7%).


5. Around half of Americans take pictures of their food

(YouGov and Statista)

A YouGov poll referenced by Statista in an updated graph report found around 50% of all Americans take pictures of their food.

The YouGov poll surveyed Americans to learn more about their eating and social media habits, and discovered only 28% of consumers never take any pictures of their food.

Regarding those who do engage in personal food photography, 31% of Americans said they only take pictures of food they’ve cooked. Around 22% said they regularly take pictures of food at a special occasion or event, and 20% take pictures of things they’ve ordered.

Only around 13% of respondents said they’ve taken pictures of food cooked by people they know.


6. 44% of people regularly post pictures of their meals on social media

(California Figs)

It’s no secret that people love to share photos of food on social media.

This could be for many reasons, such as showing off their culinary creations, getting feedback from others, documenting their eating habits, or simply because they think it looks good.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that food pictures are here to stay.


7. People are 30% more likely to engage with food photos compared to non-food photos

(University of Michigan)

According to a report published by the University of Michigan, food photos are likely to have a 30% higher engagement rate compared to non-food photos. The researchers, and engineers from the Flickr team, also found that filtered images were more likely to generate the most attention.

Compared to raw images of photos, filter-edited photos of photos were up to 16% more likely to capture viewers attention. Notably, however, the researchers said there could have been other factors at play influencing which images users paid attention to first.


Statistics About Professional Food Photographers

8. The average age of a food photographer in the US is 38


According to Zippia’s analysis of its own professional members, the average age of the “food photographer” in the United States is approximately 38. The report also found around 63% of these professionals identified as female, while 37% identified as male.

The most common degree held by food photographers is a bachelor’s degree (75%), while around 15% of respondents held an Associate’s degree. Among the professionals assessed, women in the food photography industry earned around $0.88 for every $1 earned by men.

The average female earned approximately $57,937 per year, while males were earning around $65,495 as professional food photographers.


9. In the United States, the average food photographer makes $44,193 per year


A survey by Glassdoor found the average wage for a food photographer in the United States is approximately $44,193 per year.

Notably, the study found there wasn’t enough research into the current career option to determine whether earnings are increasing or decreasing.

In comparison, Salary.com highlights the average wage for a food photographer to be between $37,724 and $45,350 per year, depending on additional skills, education, and the location of the professional.


10. The most common ethnicity among professional food photographers is white


In a demographic study of its own users, Zippia found the majority (71.8%) of professional food photographers looking for work on the platform were white. The second most common ethnicity for a food photographer was Latino or Hispanic, at 13.8%

According to further data collected from the Census Bureau by Zippia, the number of white photographers in the food industry has remained largely consistent over the last 10 years.

Between the years 2010 and 2019, the number of white food photographers decreased from 73.15% of all food photographers to 71.78%.

However, the report also revealed that black or African American food photographers earned the highest wages – over $68,000 per year compared to around $62,000 per year for white photographers.


Food Photography Trends

11. Adding professional photos to a restaurant app can increase sales by 30%


Studies conducted by Grubhub into the methods businesses can use to increase orders and sales among restaurants and food companies reveal food photography is key.

According to the company’s report, including photos on a menu app or restaurant website increases the sales of menu items by as much as 30%.

Grubhub notes images are valuable for restaurants as it gives customers an insight into what they can expect from an “exotic” or unknown item. Additionally, images can supplement menu descriptions and have an appetizing effect on consumers.


12. 72% of food photography from social media users consists of a main meal

(Flowtown and Column Five)

An infographic based on research into the habits of social media users by Flowtown and Column Five found that 72% of photos taken of food on social media included a main meal. This indicates a greater desire to take pictures of larger items of food.

According to the report, 25% of the people who take photos of food on social media do it as part of a food diary.

22% of the people surveyed in the study said they like to document their own culinary creations and recipes. However, 16% said they only take pictures of food during a special occasion or event, as part of making a memory.


13. Around 1 in 5 Brits share a food photo online at least once per month


The Waitrose food and drink report conducted in 2016 looked at the eating and food habits of young people throughout the UK. According to the report, around 9 million people, or one out of five Brits share photos of their food through social apps at least once per month.

The desire to share food photography online was more common among younger people, between the ages of 18 and 24, with around 1 in 3 of these respondents saying they had shared a food picture in the last month. Compared to those over the age of 55, 18 to 24 year olds were 5 times more likely to share food photos through social media.

Notably, the study also found that 44% of people said they make more effort with their meals if they believe photos might be shared online.


The Benefits of Food Photography

14. Placing images next to items on Deliveroo increases menu conversions by 6.5%


Research into purchasing habits and conversions on the “Deliveroo” app for online food ordering revealed photography has the power to increase sales.

According to Deliveroo’s study, specific images taken for each item on the menu and placed alongside the description for this product increase conversions by 6.5%.

Deliveroo notes having images of various individual dishes helps customers to make the correct decision about what to buy, and offers inspiration to unsure shoppers.

According to the report, Deliveroo also automatically features companies with hero images higher on the restaurant list for customers than those without visuals.


15. Food photography on a digital menu can increase conversions by 25%


In a blog post, the Limetray company revealed they had seen an increase of 25% in conversion rates when restaurant users updated their website designs with food photography.

According to the company, restaurants moving from text-based menus to image-based menus achieved higher sales and were able to better promote high-profit food items.

While the quality of the image counts, Limetray notes memorable photos can help to make a menu item more compelling and memorable. It also helps customers to better understand what kind of food they’re getting when making an order.


16. 53% of social media users have been inspired to try a recipe after seeing a food image

(California Figs)

A poll of 2,000 people conducted on behalf of California Figs found people are often inspired by the food photography they see on social media. 53% of respondents said they were encouraged to try a recipe for themselves after seeing it in their timeline, or on a news feed.

Some forms of food photography sparked more inspiration than others. Plant-based alternatives to meat and nostalgic food photos had the biggest impact (22%), followed by photographs featuring trending fruits (21%).

When asked about their response to food photography, around 85% of respondents said they felt cravings for a portion of food after seeing it on social media.


17. 45% of people find that food truly tastes better after they’ve photographed it


It seems that taking a picture of your food before you eat it has become a popular trend. A recent study revealed that 45% of people say that their food actually tastes better after they take a picture of it.

It’s not clear why this is the case, but it could be because taking a picture forces you to pay more attention to your food and appreciate it more. You also tend to savor the flavors more when you know that you have a picture to remember them by.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that taking pictures of food can enhance your experience of eating it.


18. Taking a photo of food can increase a customer’s desire for it

(Georgia Southern University)

To explore how taking a photo of a food influences the way we interact with our meals, researchers at Georgia Southern University surveyed 145 students. The volunteers were given a plate of cheese and crackers to eat, but half were told to take a picture first.

According to the report, those who took pictures of the food before eating it scored higher in terms of enjoying the food and wanting to eat more. The results indicated taking a photo of food increased the desire for the food.

The results were most noticeable among volunteers given small portions of crackers.



In conclusion, food photography is a booming industry that continues to grow in popularity. Although it can be challenging to get started, the rewards are definitely worth it.

Whether you are a professional photographer or someone who just enjoys taking pictures of your food, these statistics provide a lot of food for thought (pun intended). 

With the right skills and equipment, you can make a great living doing something you love. And as we’ve seen from these statistics, there’s no shortage of demand for good food photography.

These statistics underscore the importance of investing in quality food photography, whether you are a professional photographer or simply someone who loves to take pictures of their meals. With some hard work and dedication, you can create amazing images that will tantalize your viewers’ taste buds.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start snapping some shots!

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