Your Favorite TikTok Recipes Can Be Turned Into Meal Kits

You've probably seen a viral cooking video on TikTok and asked yourself whethere you're going to try the recipe or just stare at your screen and drool. You might bookmark it, planning to return to the recipe when you have all the ingredients. Today, the possibility of recreating a TikTok cooking trend is less of a distant dream, with integration from apps like Instacart encouraging you to add the recipe's ingredients to your digital cart. Imagine you're watching Owen Han make a delicious Birria Torta when you notice a button that allows you to get the recipe's ingredients delivered directly to you, straight from a TikTok video.

Instacart's "shoppable recipes" rollout is part of TikTok's "Jump Program" (via Instacart). Buying food from TikTok isn't new, with "TikTok Kitchens" already delivering trending foods to your doorstep, but there is a certain satisfaction in making the food yourself. You can find shoppable recipes on TikTok by searching #CartIt. If the video has a "see recipe" button next to the Instacart logo, that means it's shoppable. Clicking the button directs you to the Instacart app where the recipe is posted, along with ingredients that you can add to your cart. It lists — but doesn't automatically add — ingredients like salt and sugar which you likely already have. Online prepared meal retailer Smunch is taking things even further, planning to offer deliverable TikTok recipe kits like those used by meal prep delivery services (via The Grocer).

TikTok recipe ingredients delivered in a box

Instacart allows TikTokkers to link virtual shopping lists to their cooking videos. Smunch will work similarly, using a digital storefront model on their own app to feature creators. But the startup goes further than just finding the ingredients; it pre-measures and boxes them like other meal prep services. Smunch started as an "online canteen," selling pre-made lunches through their delivery app. Now, they're pivoting to the world of TikTok, partnering with creators like Javen Chong to sell viral recipe kits on their platform. They plan to offer creators a commission on kits that are based on their recipes. 

Is it really that hard to write out a grocery list, though? Shoppable recipes are designed to push TikTok's trends from your screen to your kitchen. They might seem like the product of a tech CEO wondering how many more of us would have made Emily Mariko's salmon bowl if the ingredients were sent to us pre-measured. But they're onto something, as the market for shoppable content, from fashion to food, only keeps growing. Instacart is even pushing its shoppable recipe plugin to Hearst websites like Delish and Good Housekeeping. So, will you be making use of these new services or will you stick to just fantasizing about those corn ribs?