Counting the Cost - Food and the impact of social media
How is our obsession with photographing food altering the way the restaurant industry amd food producers around the world look at themselves?
Taking photos of what you eat and posting them to social media applications such as Instagram is a global social phenomenon that seems to be growing. Cloud eggs, Unicorn Frappuccinos and avocado toast all have one thing in common: Social media made them a hit.
The price of avocados is at a 19-year high, with the avocado toast trend as captured on Instagram credited as one of the main reasons for this. International coffee franchise Starbucks is enjoying shares near all-time highs too, with a nod to the "Instagrammable" pastel-hued Unicorn Frappuccino.
Over 208 million Instagram posts have been hashtagged "food" on the photosharing app since it was founded in 2010. This has compelled restaurants, food growers and the retail market to pay attention.
Fern Potter, a global digital partner at Carat, a digital and media solutions company, says that a change in the consumer mindset - from putting their trust in the government, to advertising and marketers and now, each other through social media - in combination with the rise and rise in the popularity of social media has resulted in this trend movement.
She also emphasises the importance of companies factoring in social media at the very root of the supply chain to better understand what consumers want is the key to success moving forward, "There's a definite need for businesses and companies to look into that data, to look at trends and targeting of how they can reach consumers and audiences in real-time, like never before. It can also inform new product development, the desires and wants of the consumers and how they're talking and sharing photos of food and how they're interacting with that presence online."
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