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The Best Food Tweets of 2017

It was a big year for tweeting food brands

What a year it’s been for Twitter. The President of the United States has used his timeline to insult constituents and bait unstable enemies. Chief executive officer Jack Dorsey has regularly been the target of abuse due to his social media platform’s ongoing problems with abuse. Verification was suspended because too many white supremacists had their voices amplified by those little blue checkmarks.

While all that was going on, there were some fun tweets. Food brands, in particular, had a good time online this year. A model-turned-cookbook author became the voice of a nation. And, a teenager ensured he will never go hungry thanks to an endless supply of fast-food chicken nuggets. Here now, a fond look back at some of the rare positive moments on Twitter:

In April, 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson posed a simple question to square burger chain Wendy’s: How many retweets would it take for one to receive free chicken nuggets for a full year? The social media person on call for Wendy’s at that moment determined 18 million retweets would suffice.

At the time, 18 million retweets would have obliterated the previous retweet record: 3.2 million for Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscars selfie. It quickly became clear the global tweeting population intended for Wilkerson to achieve his dreams. Ellen tried to broker a deal with the kid to keep her record intact, but it was to no avail. Wilkerson didn’t get to 18 million (yet), but he is now the all-time retweet champ and awash in a sea of nuggs.

Receiving tons of free publicity during Wilkerson’s quest for complementary fried chicken pieces wasn’t the only thing Wendy’s was up to in 2017. The chain’s social media team garnered accolades for regularly tweet-roasting other fast-food brands such as McDonald’s.

Burger King, however, did get a leg up in the Twitter wars by paying to promote a bunch of tweets in which folks complained about the removal of spicy chicken nuggets from the Wendy’s menu. It was a wild year for the two rivals.

2017 was also the year when Moon Pie, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based dessert/snack company, made the leap to Weird #Brand Twitter. This account developed a distinct Nihilist Arby’s tone.

In November, frozen pizza company DiGiorno took aim at delivery giant Papa John’s. After PJ’s founder and chief executive officer John Schnatter complained that his company’s sales were down because of some National Football League players protesting by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem (Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL), DiGiorno unloaded.

Schnatter’s comments eventually took his company’s image from bad to worse as white supremacists let it be known that they were wholeheartedly endorsing Papa John’s. Chrissy Teigen, who won Eater’s Media Personality of the Year award in part because of her excellent tweets, provided the perfect response to this bizarre controversy.

No one could better express the exasperation and resignation social media-conscious Americans are feeling at the end of a draining 12 months than Teigen.

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