In 2018, the Disgusting Food Museum opened its doors in the Swedish city of Malmö (currently with franchise museums in Berlin and Bordeaux). The small museum has on permanent display some 80 of the world’s most disgusting foods, which adventurous visitors may sample. Exhibited delicacies include for instance roasted guinea pigs from Peru (cuy) or a well-aged shark from Iceland (hákarl). There is something about: tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.
Food for a modern consumer is merely a way to fill the gap. Whether you prefer sour, bitter, savory, sweet, or umami for your taste buds, there is a meal to spice up every soul. No more food is a quick affair to curb hunger. Food has become a trendy thing to talk about. Elaborate and informed social talk about various kinds of meat, variety of cheeses, coffee preparation, differences among wine regions or staple foods of ethnic cuisines complement basic conversational skillset.
Celebrity chefs, microbreweries, culinary tours, passion for organic and raw, escape from digital into real world and desire for something which engages all senses and bonds people together – all of that and much more food lovers can relate to. Food has become a real hobby. Foodies train their pellets to further develop their refined and zealous taste by experimenting in cooking, attending special classes, using quality, original and unusual ingredients, trying different diets or ethnic cuisines, participating in discussion groups, visiting a great variety of well-acclaimed eateries. Some of them share their experiences through social media, follow renowned chefs, subscribe to food magazines, watch cooking shows and food travelogues, or collect cookbooks.
Food influencers need to be on foodstagram if they want to be recognized. Instagram is a strong platform for foodies to communicate. A picture or a video as visual stimuli are strong messengers of a tasty promise. A successful food influencer complements digital content with blogs, podcasts, and other (traditional) media appearance. Foodie influencing scene has been vibrant, colorful, and as one would expect there is content for any liking. Foodies influence public knowledge of nutrition, cooking skills, cost of home cooking, and body ideals among other elements.
Food can be an object of artistic inquiry as evidenced by @aurelycerise or @tanaka_tatsuya. Are you into watching a young lady smushing her face into various kinds of bread with interesting background music (@breadfaceblog), into searching for dogs in yummy treats (@dogs_infood), or do you enjoy other eating too much (#hotdogeatingcontest). Desire to stand out from the social media clutter has led to the extreme. In 2021, Instagram was accused for commercially profiting from pages that glorified eating disorders. Potentially harmful accounts were swiftly discontinued for not complying with platform policies. So called food porn has yet been another discipline with influencers consuming (@showry) or playing with food (@stephanie_sarley) in pseudo-sexual way.
Visualizing food for social media is a discipline by itself. Viewers are made to believe that what they see is what they get. Various photo gadgets, appropriate lighting, right kitchen equipment, tableware and decoration, and software tools are a must for a good social media result. A multitude of instructional videos is freely available. Food photographers routinely use fake acrylic or resin ice cubes, white glue instead of milk, shaving cream instead of whipped cream, and fill in plates with false bottoms (usually simple dough from flour and water). Tricks such as inserting cardboard in between pancakes to make a stack look tall and fluffy and bathing the breakfast food in motor oil instead of syrup to prevent a soggy effect have gone viral. Taking a beautiful picture of a cup of coffee takes a diluted soy sauce, frothy bubbles from dishwashing liquid and a tampon soaked in hot water for nice airy swirls of steam.
Key income opportunities for food influencers are no different to other players on the social media scene. A (large) following is their most important asset, through which they generate income cashing out on paid contextual advertising. Another important income source is sponsorships for promoting restaurants, retailers, destinations, or kitchen equipment brands to name a few. Appearances in traditional media, book publishing, running cooking classes and participating at events complement the package.
Gurmánství: Jak povznést základní potřebu na uměleckou posedlost
Není jisté, že ještě počátkem tisíciletí by bylo společensky přijatelné veřejně deklarovat vlastní zálibu v jídle. Spíše by se možná jednalo o prohlášení omlouvající bobtnající body-mass-index. Mezitím se však schopnost společensky konverzovat o různých odstínech jídla, pokrmech a ingrediencích dostupných v různých zemích či rozlišovat kávu na víc než zrnkovou, mletou a instantní, stalo nutností lvů salónů. Scéna food bloggerů a food influencerů utěšeně roste a pečuje o komunitu gurmánů – hobbistů. Jejich kombinace triků, tipů a obchodně-podnikatelských praktik nás může učit o tom, jak povznést jednu ze základních lidských potřeb na uměleckou posedlost.
Kontakt na autorov/Address
doc. Ing. Pavel Štrach, Ph.D., Ph.D., ŠKODA AUTO Vysoká škola o.p.s., Katedra marketingu a managementu, Na Karmeli 1457, 293 01 Mladá Boleslav, Česká republika, e-mail: email@example.com