KSI and the Sidesmen hope to cash in on fast food sales as these creators expand their brand


KSI and his clique of creators known as Sidemen have launched Sides - a fast food offering serving up fried chicken with a choice of seven sauces. Initially to be sold in London and the United Arab Emirates Sides is set to launch at the weekend - 28th November. 

Is this a stretch too far for the YouTuber turned pop star? Not necessarily. There is a blueprint to success to follow here. Fellow YouTuber Mr.Beast launched virtual food brand, MrBeast Burger, a year ago. 

It took Mr.Beast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, less than two months to sell a million burgers. Since then he’s partnered with fellow influencers including Charlie White, aka MoistCr1TiKaL, to extend the product line - With White, Donaldson launched moist melt burger, for instance. 

Other creators also count food as part of their diverse business interests. Emma Chamberlain, a 20-year-old YouTuber with 11.1 million followers owns Chamberlain Coffee. She set up the coffee brand when she was just 18. Her company keeps packaging to a minimum to avoid waste and uses beans untouched by pesticides. Last year Elijah Daniel launched virtual brand Gay Burger.

Why has fast food become the new merch? Creators are great storytellers. They know what their audience wants - and what it doesn’t care for. Their fans will often be keen to try out any new product. In short, influencers supply both the distribution and the marketing firepower. Get the proposition right and you’ve got an opportunity for recurring revenue. For longevity in the space, the product has to be good, however. 

For now we can only watch this space to track whether KSI, real name, Olajide Olatunji (or JJ to his friends), can successfully port his community into another commercial area at scale. The Sidesmen are following the proven blueprint though:

  1. De-risk the venture by using ghost kitchens rather than building production from ground up.
  2. Think scale from day 1. Sides has product distribution in place already via Deliveroo and Ubereats
  3. Bring marketing firepower - Sidemen's combined social media reach is 93 million.  

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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