While these individuals are now as far-reaching and influential than ever, the fear is this kind of advice often lacks a sound scientific basis.
Managing partner of nutrition communications group Eat Well Global, Erin Boyd Kappelhof was a guest speaker at FoodVision this year in London.
Here, she highlighted the rise in social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube that had boosted the influence and reach of TV and internet personalities.
This had resonated most amongst these channels’ younger core audience, who were more likely to take the advice as fact.
According to Kappelhoff, this made it difficult to anticipate who consumers were likely to turn to for health advice, or to be certain whose opinions, would have the greatest impact on their food choices.
“The internet is a great equaliser,” she said. “But this also means there is an incredible amount of content.
“For the companies that we work with, the most important thing that they can do is to provide accurate information as consumers are now calling them out if they don’t do that.”
In response, Kappelhof added that for a brand, there was nothing better than authenticity because the truth shines directly through to the consumers.
“In building trust, the most important thing we’re seeing is the importance of ethics,” Kappelhof explained.
“More and more we’re seeing companies putting ethics at the core of their business. It shows who they want to be and they’re saying that loud and clear.”