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Just how popular is that TikTok feta tomato pasta?

Unless you live a blissful, social media-free existence, you’ve probably seen a brick of feta in a sea of tomatoes roasting or sizzling in a skillet.

The hottest food trend, a pasta sauce recipe that went viral on TikTok, is prime territory for fresh produce, and marketers should be paying attention.

That is, if you weren’t already watching TikTok, you need to do so ASAP.

Interest in feta cheese skyrocketed in the latter part of January, according to Google Trends, and is expected to hit an even higher peak as we continue into February.

The Google Trends line on feta makes me wonder if cheese companies were ready for this surge.

Google Trends search interest is one thing, but how much of an impact has this had on sales?

According to the latest IRI sales data analyzed by the Produce Marketing Association, cherry tomato sales in the week ending January 24 were 29% higher than the same week last year.

I’ll say that’s significant.

A few brands acted fast to get recipes out, like The Produce Moms, Litehouse, and NatureSweet’s collaboration. Gourmet Garden also has content out pointing to the company’s lightly dried basil.

This doesn’t have to be a big production. It’s a social media post, and apparently it’s so easy that the TikTok’rs can do it. There’s so many ways to collaborate and add on your own spin, from some herbs to garlic, greens, and other roastable produce items. And of course, tomatoes.

I’d love to see what you come up with.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.