If you love food as much as I do and have TikTok, you may or may not have already been sucked into ASMR #FoodTok. ASMR (which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is used by TikTok to enhance a person’s viewing or listening experience. Many years ago, creators made ASMR food videos by simply heightening the sounds of them eating food. However, #FoodTok is giving ASMR a whole new meaning. More than just sound comes into play when making a viral food video on the app and ASMR carries an important role. 

So what makes #FoodTok videos with ASMR so addictive? To answer this question, I dove into my own "scientific" research. (This is not, I repeat, NOT peer-reviewed, by the way.) 

1. I need the chopping, the sizzling and the crunching

While I previously stated that the visuals in ASMR Food videos are important, having good sound bites is still very much essential. You cannot help but be hungry after listening to meat sizzling in a hot pan or after hearing the crunch from biting into a piece of chicken. Sound is what makes ASMR, well, ASMR. 

A video does not always have to have loud noises, though. Depending on the overall tone of the video, a food TikTok can use more subtle sounds and still create the same effect as a TikTok with only aggressive ones. Take this baking video by @suga.bite as an example:

In this video, the creator uses a combination of soft sounds (the pouring and mixing of ingredients) and loud sounds (the eggs cracking and the chocolate bar being chopped). Videos like these are made to relax the viewer and give them a break from the series of fast-paced clips they have probably just scrolled past. Baking is known as a mechanism for de-stressing, so it also makes perfect sense to not use loud sound bites. However, if someone were cooking a steak dinner, noisiness is probably necessary. It really depends on the mood a creator is going for.

2. I love a good transition

Now, this may not matter to other people, but I love a seamless transition — especially on #FoodTok. A popular food creator named @doobydobap does it best in this video:

Could you see the point when the video ended and the beginning started playing again? Me neither, and that's what I find so fun about it! These types of playbacks in #FoodTok videos are always a delight to come across when scrolling through the app. It tricks your brain and, to the creator's benefit, persuades you to watch the clip all over again. It's genius, really.

3. Song choice sets off my mood

Music is essential to any great video. Depending on the song you choose to play in the background, a certain audience is drawn. I'll take myself as an example. 

I’ve realized I am favorable to the aesthetics. Give me a collection of baking ASMR videos with french or old-school music and I’m practically in heaven. I could watch those videos all day.

Videos like the one above make me feel like I'm a twenty-something French woman who arrived home from her 9-5 job, changed into a matching pajama set, spun her century-old record player and started humming along as she tackled another new baking recipe.

Why so specific?

I've watched enough of these videos to conjure up a pretty active imagination. Music is able to transport you into a different place and/or a different time, and, when used right, it is a storytelling tool that can create an immersive ASMR experience.

4. Everything is about personal preference

Say you don't agree with these three points. That's perfectly fine. I get that, and so does TikTok. The beauty of the app is that it has videos that cater to everyone. Not into aesthetics? There are plenty of step-by-step recipes that aspiring cooks can look into. Hate cooking but love food? #Foodtok promotes plenty of vlogs that showcase fun restaurants to try.

As someone who likes to pretend she is good at cooking, aesthetic cooking videos and food vlogs are the ones that do it for me. I want to live through the people making the food but, let's be real, I will probably end up ordering out when it's all said and done. 

I will now end this detailed "scientific" study with a shoutout to a #FoodTok fan favorite. Though his videos are nothing like the cozy baking videos I prefer, I still am weirdly obsessed. Check out @menwiththepot in the video below: