Or is if just Food porn?
When Food Network first launched many derided the network when it was discovered that they had hired some directors who had worked in the adult cinema world in order to add a level of sensuality to the cooking and hook the viewers. Now there is a new twist.
Do you know about ASMR? That is - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. You know the experience we’ve all had that's a tingling sensation on our skin that begins on our scalp and moves down the back of your neck right down to the upper spine.
The new trend in food videos is to use specific acoustic sounds like chopping, stirring, sautéing even humanoid sounds of slurping and chewing work along with visual stimuli to trigger that feeling that some liken to euphoria. And whispering!
One of the biggest ASMR video stars is Taylor, who goes by ASMRDarling, whose videos typically have well over 1 million views each (and she has posted scores of them). When her channel reached 200,000 subscribers about a year ago she celebrated by barely whispering in various parts of her microphone and scratching her fingernails on a Chick-fil-a bag, shook her ice filled beverage, slurped through the straw and tapped her fingernails on the box before she started taking slow bites of food that she chewed noticeably right into the mic. The video now has almost 1.7 million views. She also has a serious side and posted a ASMR video asking for donations to charities supporting Hurricane Harvey relief.
Another star is “Hungry Cakes” who is not quite as whispery and a bit noisier whose Burger King Whopper video has almost 4 million views and 9,000 public comments.
Then there is “ASMR The Chew” whose pickle eating sounds video has over 3.9 million views.
NPR reports that food-focused ASMR content has caught the attention of companies like KFC, Pepsi and Tastemade, which have created their own brief ASMR-style videos. (pronounce Geebee) GibiASMR, has done sponsored videos for Blue Apron and Thrive Market. She's amassed more than 407,000 subscribers in the last year and now makes ASMR videos as her full-time career.
"Cooking videos make for some really good sounds. You have bubbling, cutting, washing — all the good stuff," she says.