Home School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts Blog 2019 July 19 Behind the scene tricks of food commercials

Behind the scene tricks of food commercials


When looking at food in commercials, you have probably thought that it looks delicious and I’m sure we have all compared our meals to the commercials. The difference remains in the magic of food styling. There are many secrets to make commercials look their best, including the use of food stylists who use tricks of the trade like those in the Food Media post-graduate program. Brightside and Mashed spill some of the behind-the-scenes secrets of TV food commercials.

Mashed Potatoes for various uses

Mashed potatoes have various uses when it comes to food advertisements. The main one being a replacement for ice cream. Since ice cream melts quickly under studio lights, food stylists use mashed potatoes with food colouring. Another use for it is with meat. Mashed potatoes are loaded into syringes and then injected into meat such as turkey or roasts to plump up specific parts.

Spray Deodorant and Hairspray for shine

Fruit in advertisements seems to always have a glowing shine. The deodorant spray adds shine to fruit and some stylists even use hairsprays to give it that commercial shine.

Cardboard for Cake structure

A way to stabilize the structure of the food is using cardboard, string and toothpicks. To keep cakes dry and standing up, food stylists use cardboard and toothpicks.

Plastic ice cubes in drinks

A surprising aspect of commercials is that they do not use real ice cubes in drinks. Ice cubes also melt quickly, especially under the warm lights used in commercials, so food stylists use plastic ice cubes in soft drinks. They also use plastic ice cubes to give them their uniform size.

Glue instead of Milk

Commercials take longer then you would think. Because of this, cereal quickly soaks in milk and will sink to the bottom. Food stylists replace milk with white glue so the cereal will remain on the surface and keep its original form.

Burger/Sandwich tricks

When styling a burger for a commercial, there are a few tricks stylists use to make sure you can see all the ingredients. First of all, stylist use syringes of ketchup and mustard to line the outside of the burger. Another trick is using string and toothpicks to keep the food looking full and the ingredients separate.

Written by: Savanah Salazaar

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