For all true foodies, this is the time of year to look back in 2015 and reminisce on all the delicious meals consumed. Can’t quite remember that epic mile-high cheesecake you ate last April? Don’t fret, with 40% of Millennial’s using mobile devices during mealtime, just take a peek at your social media history for a stroll down memory lane.
Now let’s not point fingers at just the Millennials. In fact, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are now even more distracted by their mobile devices during mealtime than their younger counterparts, or so Nielsen studies say.
Yes, we must accept it – mobile devices are now a part of the dining experience, truly capturing the essence of how we enjoy food. From diners to restaurants to home chefs, here are 3 ways in which social media is impacting our relationship with food.
Here’s a scenario: you get a reservation at one of the most sought-after restaurants in town, order the award-winning duck confit and dine happily in foodie heaven. But the question stands, if you do not tweet, post or Instagram a picture of this glorious, delicious moment, did it really happen?
While many consider foodstagramming facetious and believe it will ultimately ruin dining, consumers just can’t get enough. With platforms moving toward more visually-appealing content, social media becomes an easy outlet for consumers to scroll through endless, mouthwatering food pictures to find out exactly what their appetites are craving. Gone are the days you would actually listen to your stomach growl. Welcome to the age of craving with your eyes.
Restaurants that capitalize on this growing trend might even build a stronger relationship with their tech-savvy diners. Even chefs are accounting for Instagram time into their meal estimation whether they like it or not. A diner hovering over their food for 15 minutes to get that perfect shot slows down table turnover.
For those fully-embracing this social trend, you may have heard of the series of pop-up restaurants in the U.K. called The Picture House, which not only provide diners with food styling tips from an in-house foodstagramming expert, but the restaurant actually allows diners to pay-by-post. Further, the Latin-inspired Manhattan restaurant Comodo leveraged the consumer obsession with foodstagramming to create their very own Instagram Menu, allowing diners to do all their (delicious) dirty work: generate buzz about the restaurant and promote their cuisine.
HUMANIZING FOOD IN SOCIAL
Thanks to social media, your presence isn’t even required to engage with your food. Making food an active participant on social platforms is an opportunity to grab consumers’ attentions and strike hunger pangs from afar. Domino’s Pizza recently launched a Twitter campaign personifying the chain’s signature product asking customers, “If pizza were self-aware, what would it think? More specifically, what would it tweet?”
Fresh, creative, humorous, approachable and most importantly, shareable content is the recipe for social success. Take Arby’s holiday campaign as a prime example. The chain creatively brought their beloved curly fries front and center in an already crazed and cluttered time of year when all brands are fighting for the holiday spotlight.
MOBILE USE WHILE GROCERY SHOPPING
Before you swear off dining out, don’t think staying close to home will keep you safe from the social vacuum either. In fact, Simmons Data reports 55% of grocery shoppers are more likely to use their mobile device while shopping to search for local deals. And it doesn’t stop there. On a budget? Apples2Oranges app can help you compare prices of two items to see which one would provide the biggest bang for your buck. Feeling lazy? Don’t worry, Instacart can be your personal grocery shopper. Going primal and ditching the bread & cheese? There’s an app for that too.
As true foodies and social media addicts, we’d love to see how you and your food will be interacting in the New Year. Be sure to tag #PadillaCRT during your next dining adventure!