Why Wax Is Used In Food Commercials

Food commercials are great at what they aim to do — make us super hungry for delicious foods. A perfectly stacked burger, extra melty cheese, or frosty ice cream scoops all look too good to not eat, and it's probably because that's true. The reason the food in commercials looks so good (and not at all like what you actually see in real life) is because the team behind the commercial uses special methods of altering the food to make it look its very best. 

From strange-sounding substitutes to unthinkable additions, what you see in a food commercial is likely only partly edible, if at all. As an example, wax is one of the key components in staging food for commercials. You definitely wouldn't want to consume it, but it can be pretty useful for the purposes of photography and videography. Apparently, wax is used especially when it comes to showcasing fast food sauces.

Why is wax used for depicting fast food sauce?

The behind-the-scenes of food commercials is a realm of many secrets, and wax is one of them, according to So Yummy. Wax is often added into a fast food sauce to give it an even smoother texture, making it more consistent-looking and shiny on camera. Fast food sauce by itself can sometimes seem clunky (like when a rogue glob of sauce falls off your fry onto your shirt) and wax remedies that. Moreover, adding wax to fast food sauce boosts its color, making it look especially vibrant. Lastly, adding wax helps achieve that perfectly dunkable, chicken nugget dipping texture that makes you dash to the nearest drive-thru.

But of course, wax isn't the only secret ingredient in food commercial staging. There are actually a number of different techniques to stage perfect-looking food for the camera. A well-known trick, as mentioned in Fstoppers, is substituting real ice cream with mashed potatoes that are dyed to match the ice cream flavor being advertised. Mashed potatoes won't melt like real ice cream would, and retain a scoop-shape much better than ice cream. Therefore, the window of time to shoot the commercial is much longer.