From Humble to Hot: Why Onion Pie is Taking Over TikTok

April 22, 20245 minutes
Kelia Losa Reinoso photo
Kelia Losa Reinoso

Remember banana bread? Dalgona coffee? The culinary world of TikTok loves to throw us unexpected stars, and the humble onion pie is the latest to take center stage. But unlike its trend predecessors, onion pie actually has a rich history and is surprisingly versatile. So, what catapulted this savory staple to viral fame?

First, there’s the nostalgia factor. Onion pie evokes comfort, familiarity, and home, a welcome escape in these uncertain times. Second, the recipe’s simplicity is a major draw. Budget-conscious home cooks can easily whip up a delicious dish with pantry staples like onions, flour, and butter. Finally, the visual appeal of the golden-brown, flaky crust on TikTok is undeniable.

This seemingly simple trend holds valuable lessons for the global food industry. By understanding the “why” behind the craze, restaurants, chefs, CPGs and even food bloggers can position themselves at the forefront of culinary innovation.

How the Global Food Industry Can Capitalize on Onion Pie

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The onion pie trend offers a valuable blueprint for the global food industry. Here’s how restaurants, chefs, and food businesses can leverage this data-driven insight:

  • Menu Innovation: Restaurants can offer creative takes on the classic onion pie. Consider seasonal variations with different vegetables or ethnic twists with spices and herbs.
  • Limited-Time Offers: Capitalize on the trend with a limited-time “TikTok Special” onion pie. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages customers to try it before it’s gone.
  • Social Media Engagement: Food bloggers and chefs can leverage the trend by creating engaging content. Share recipe variations, film tutorials, and participate in the #onionpiechallenge hashtags.

Beyond Tiktok – a Reflection of Broader Social Media Trends

The onion pie trend isn’t just about a single dish; it reflects broader social media trends in the food industry. Here’s what Tastewise data reveals:

  • The Power of Nostalgia: Comfort food trends are thriving. People seek familiarity and emotional connection through food.
  • Visual Appeal is Key: Food that looks good on camera performs well. High-quality visuals and enticing recipe presentations are crucial for social media success.
  • Accessibility Matters: Simple recipes with readily available ingredients resonate with audiences.

By understanding these underlying trends, food businesses can develop content and offerings that cater to the current social media landscape. Tastewise empowers the food industry to capitalize on trends, innovate menus, and engage audiences effectively. 

Tastewises uses surveys created on the insights platform using thousands of online data, like this one, about the trendy onion pie. Who’s eating it, when are they eating it, and with what? These are all questions that can be unpacked with our surveys. Ultimately, data-driven insights are the secret ingredient to staying ahead of the culinary curve.

1. Democratization of food culture

Traditionally, food trends were dictated by celebrity chefs and high-end restaurants. Social media platforms like TikTok have democratized food culture. Anyone can become a food influencer, sharing their culinary creations and inspiring others. This fosters a more diverse and inclusive food scene, with a wider range of voices and perspectives.

2. User-generated content as a discovery engine

Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are treasure troves for discovering new recipes and food experiences. User-generated content (UGC) allows viewers to explore a vast array of global cuisines, with detailed tutorials and real-life experiences. This fosters a sense of community and authenticity that traditional media outlets can’t always replicate.

3. The power of short-form video

 Attention spans are shorter than ever, and platforms like TikTok have perfected the art of short-form video content. Bite-sized recipes, visually appealing food presentations, and trendy challenges have become the go-to for food discovery.  This fast-paced format helps viewers quickly grasp a recipe’s essence and decide if they want to recreate it at home.

4. The rise of food ASMR

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) has become a massive trend on social media.  Food ASMR videos focus on the close-up sounds of food preparation and consumption, creating a strangely satisfying and often relaxing experience for viewers.

This trend taps into our sensory connection with food, making the virtual experience more immersive and engaging. For example, Mukbang, a growing food ASMR trend in Asia, has been gaining tracking for years. Their popularity stems from a combination of social connection, entertainment, and the strangely satisfying experience of watching someone else devour delicious food.

5. Interactive experiences and live streaming

Social media platforms are constantly evolving, incorporating interactive features like livestreaming.  Food bloggers and chefs can use these tools to host live cooking demonstrations, answer viewers’ questions in real-time, and create a sense of connection with their audience. This fosters a more participatory and engaging way to learn about food and connect with fellow food enthusiasts.

Viral Innovation

Social media cooks like on TikTok are revolutionizing the kitchen. Their quirky trends, like the now-famous onion pie, spark creativity and inspire home cooks to experiment. These viral sensations aren’t just fun to watch – they push boundaries and lead to unexpected flavor combinations and recipe hacks.

This constant innovation fosters a space where new products and cooking techniques emerge like this recipe for a twist on the classic onion pie, featuring caramelized onions and tomato.


What are some popular variations of onion pie?

The beauty of onion pie lies in its adaptability. Here are some trending variations:

  • Vegan onion pie with plant-based butter and dairy alternatives
  • Caramelized onion and goat cheese pie
  • Spicy chorizo and onion pie
  • Mini onion pies for appetizers

Who is the Onion Pie Craze Targeting?

The onion pie trend holds appeal across demographics. Here’s why:

  • Budget-conscious home cooks seeking a delicious and affordable meal
  • Vegans and vegetarians looking for a satisfying plant-based option
  • Fans of comfort food and classic recipes
  • Social media users following the latest food trends

By recognizing emerging trends like the Onion Pie rise, Tastewise empowers restaurants to capitalize on these cultural shifts. This end-to-end platform equips them with the tools to not just adapt, but thrive in the ever-evolving food and beverage landscape.

What can food intelligence do for you?