If it wasn’t for a tweet, the charcoal-activated vegan croissant would just have remained an unusual option in Coco di Mama, an Italian coffee and food deli, in London. But, in just a couple of days, the in-store label “Tastes better than it looks!” used to describe these black bakery items had gone viral with thousands of likes and numerous followers ready to try the unique bakery item and share their comments online.

Despite charcoal having been around for a while; among those UK consumers familiar with charcoal, this component is perceived more positively as an effective ingredient in beauty products rather than having a positive impact on health in food and drinks (29% against 17%). Thus, the tweet about charcoal-based croissants has generated excitement for its unusual and interesting qualities especially for those foodie consumers.

This sharing has grabbed the attention of users online showing the disruptive potential of social media. Indeed, the product has all the components to become trendy on social networks: it features an unusual ingredient released in black, a different colour for food, and its use of the vegan claim has increased the chance of making it a potential on-trend topic to comment on and like especially among Millennials.

Indeed, according to GlobalData’s consumer survey, Millennials share pictures of food and drinks they consume on social media much more frequently than their older counterparts. That these bakery goods are aimed at Millennials is quite clear from the note on the deli’s website stating “The charcoal in the croissant helps to detoxify any poisons or toxins in your body, for example, alcohol,” suggesting the consumption of it at breakfast after a night out drinking.

Besides the product’s potential to go mainstream, the London deli has definitely gained a positive social media return, conquering the headlines in national and international newspapers. Indeed, a couple of weeks ago, this deli was just another coffee and lunch branch in London. Today, the winning combination of food and virtual marketing has generated traffic onsite and online, showing manufactures and distributors in the food service market that social media activities are now essential to compete and stand out from the crowd.