Love Island’s tiramisu moment shows its influence extends beyond fashion | Comment and opinion

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Love Island has brought us many things. Phrases that will never die (‘the ick’). New depths of public humiliation. And, this series, a boost to Italian cuisine.

In a famous moment over the past week, the winning couple cemented their relationship over tiramisu, prepared by ‘Italian stud’ Davide Sanclimenti.

The gesture not only won over his partner, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu (who is surely aiming for a connection with Fry). It has also influenced shopping habits.

In the wake of the tiramisu ceremony, supermarket sales of the dessert increased by 11.4% with nearly 25,000 additional products sold [NielsenIQ w/e 30 July 2022].

Baileys even attempted to lean on Sanclimenti’s influence after the finale, tweeting that tiramisu was “obviously the secret ingredient to a winning love life.”

Sanclimenti has also worked its magic on pasta. According to data from Google Trends, searches for carbonara peaked after he cooked the dish to impress his fellow Love Island Talent Show contestants.

No doubt this will be a boost for Sanclimenti, who has been tipped to get his own cooking show as a result. But more importantly, it shows the power of the show – generally known for its fashion influence – on food and drink choices.

Love Island is no longer a laughable ITV2 niche. It built broad appeal and influence to attract 3.4 million viewers for this year’s finale – the highest number since 2019.

The series is attracting more and more notable food and beverage sponsors – with successful results. See Emmi Caffè Latte, which has seen its iced coffee sales increase by 19.3% since its sponsorship of the show began this year. Although the weather played a part, Emmi thinks the influence of “coffee-loving islanders” – including Sanclimenti – certainly helped.

Then there’s WKD, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year with a partnership with Love Island. He renewed the link this year, after reporting good consumer response.

Sponsorship isn’t the only way to get in on the action. Vita Coco recently recruited Ovie Soko – one of season five’s most likeable contestants – for its “Can’t Hate” campaign. Cast member Tommy Fury was recruited to star in a Hellmann commercial in 2019, after revealing his fondness for mayonnaise.

Of course, logging on to a reality TV series — especially one with live-action elements and unpredictable contestants — comes with an element of risk. During this year’s live finale, contestant Luca Bish said he was looking forward to ordering a Deliveroo with his partner Gemma Owen – which probably wouldn’t have gone down well with the show’s main sponsor, Just Eat.

Yet, as Sanclimenti’s tiramisu trend proves, the potential opportunities presented by Love Island outweigh the drawbacks. Now, who bets on its association with a brand of tiramisu in the near future?

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