It seems nowadays almost everyone is a foodie. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a foodie is a person with an avid interest in food or is a connoisseur of good food.
The way we eat and share food has been heightened with the rise of digital platforms. If a meal is eaten in a restaurant and nobody’s around to take a photo, did the meal even exist? Restaurant owners have noticed that wait times have doubled because customers are preoccupied with their screens. Food has always been a social activity, and now—with the rise of digital platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter—it can be shared with an unlimited audience in real time.
Deciding where to dine has only gotten harder now that social feeds are flooded with images of delicious dishes. Diners can now track down exactly where that brunch-essential eggs benedict dish or vegan frozen yogurt is located in their town with the use of a hashtag on Instagram. Foodies have higher standards for an authentic taste, convenience, innovation and of course, visual appeal for that obligatory photo opportunity. The media has had an explosion of list-articles to a city’s website guide to show you where the best patios are with their full review on its service, menu and overall vibe.
The amplitude of food TV, cooking shows, food blogs, food on-demand apps and food trucks makes everyone more inclined to be an adventurer seeker when it comes to food. Especially at a restaurant, guests demand more innovation food mash-ups, fusions and experimentation. A study by Gusto TV found that 70 per cent of Canadians surveyed identify themselves as a foodie. As a result, more people have niche food tastes, are pickier eaters and are harder to satisfy.
Food critics, food journalists and food stylists have seen their audience grow dramatically. Food influencers and bloggers are a product of this digital culinary age where everyone is inspired to be stars of the kitchen. Food marketing continues to evolve with multiple screens interrupting the traditional food experience. The restaurant industry has no choice but to adapt to the foodie culture to ensure they are a part of the conversation. In 2016 it’s essential for restaurants to have an Instagram profile instead of just a website. The visual exposure, trending hashtags and user engagement this platform offers makes this network an important community to tap into.
Within the food marketing realm, viral fame and increased attention in the social sphere translates to higher guest attendance. Restaurant owners are constantly looking for new ways to stand out on social media and brand themselves in order to distinguish themselves within the competitive food landscape. Restaurants like Maple Leaf Tavern set themselves apart by being the first restaurant in Canada to offer branded ice.
Read more about the ways restaurants from around the world have introduced ice brands in their drinks here.