How to get the best out of each dish with Gastronomy Influencers
With the festivities being right around the corner, we have found ourselves browsing through social media and the internet to find the perfect cake or roasted meat recipes, while coming across delightful recipes we also envy, and are inspired by the aesthetically pleasant looking tableware and kitchenware.
A beige table runner laying on a wooden dining table, white porcelain plates that perfectly match with the matte golden cutlery, a candle holder standing in the middle of the table – making the dining room warm and cozy. How can all these images in the feed not make us look forward to hosting dinners with family and friends?
Since the festivities are just a month away, our research team noticed the increased need to update and bring forward our “Gastronomy” list, to selectively showcase the most prominent gastronomy influencers and magazines. Scroll down to learn more about them and the relevance of gastronomy across markets.
The Pandemic: Where it all started
Although it has been hard to endure staying at home, and seeing our favourite restaurants with closed doors, the pandemic turned many of us into real foodies. It all started from baking the simplest banana bread to making delightful home-cooked dishes.
Social media were a big factor when it came to finding our favorite recipes. Nisha Chittal, editor at VOX mentioned that Instagram was loaded with sourdough and cookies recipes, and people liked to show off their home cooks through stories. Although not everyone is not much of a baker, many joined the newest cooking trends, and we all stumbled upon appetizing images of food presented in minimalistic settings with matching tableware, making us engage with narratives, that almost bring out the flavor through the screen.
Social media accounts dedicated to food became increasingly popular. In fact, studies have shown that there is a rising amount of people that now turn to social media for cooking inspiration, and 71% of people have now gone digital by getting inspiration from Instagram, where tags such as #foodporn have been used more than 400 million times, showing how social media users are connected to visual displays of food. Social media encouraged many to become “self-proclaimed” foodies which also made us look toward to hosting dinners with our long-time-no-see friends and family and showcasing our newest cooking skills.
With tags such as #tablescapes being increasingly used, many also realized the importance of table- and kitchen-ware. Online furniture stores, saw a strong demand for table and kitchenware, as more people have been eating and cooking at home. Luxury retailer The RealReal, saw that sales within its home category have risen by 16% over a year, with tableware being at the top of the sales. Whether it is when sharing your home-cooked dishes on social media or when hosting dinners, purchasing better tableware and kitchen tools became essential to create aesthetic social media images and a cozy atmosphere in the dining room.
It’s about storytelling
Nowadays, foodie enthusiasts do not just purchase porcelain plates from seeing a raw product image, they need something more; storytelling. And because brands today are not only seeking to have customers buying their products, but also want to have loyalties with their customers, storytelling is a valuable way to do so.
As a brand, there are various ways in which you can think about combining your products with food, and let everyone engage with the narrative behind your images. People often need to feel connected to the images they see, and as a brand, you want to trigger an emotional connection: to fantasize about dinner parties, Sunday morning brunches, and many more precious moments that we attach to food.
If you need inspiration, our research team previously released an article about gastronomy and storytelling and suggested several hacks on how to combine storytelling with food.
Gastronomy Across Markets
As a brand, it is essential to have insights into how markets value and perceive gastronomy. Whether a country considers Christmas, Easter or even afternoon coffee and cake to be important events will tell you much about a country’s gastronomy principles and how much care is being put on the table and kitchenware. Our international research team gathered gastronomy insights from their own markets to give you a better idea of how various markets value and perceive gastronomy.
Denmark has a large culinary scene and Danes have a dominant tradition of dining at home, inviting family and friends over for dinner.
Because of that, tableware and interior are very important to the Danes – since having guests over for dinner is common on a weekly basis, and they of course want their Scandinavian aesthetics to reflect in their surroundings at home. So, in Denmark a meal isn’t just a meal, it will in most cases be a ‘hyggelig’ gathering of family and friends.
Popular Gastronomy influencer: @frederikkewaerens
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: SPIS BEDRE
Sarah Friis – Danish Lifestyle Researcher
Swedish gastronomy centers a lot around healthy, locally sourced produce. The food culture is largely shaped by the climate and therefore differs regionally, however, overall eating habits are quite tradition-bound.
Swedish cuisine can be described as explorative and forward-thinking as many staple dishes have international roots but are made classics through incorporations of local ingredients. Meatballs, with their Turkish roots being one such and arguably the most well-known example.
Larger meals and sit-down dinners are a big part of festivities, but the most well-known gastronomic concept is the country’s coffee and fika culture, where swedes enjoy a light pastry and cup of coffee with family, friends, or colleagues, preferably daily.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @zeinaskitchen
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Elle Mat & Vin
Norwegians enjoy international food, and you can find cuisines from all over the world in the country. However, traditional dishes and local ingredients are also highly regarded. For instance, as a large seafood exporter, fish is a quintessential part of the Norwegian diet.
Gastronomy goes hand in hand with the Norwegian holiday season: making traditional dishes enhances feelings of nostalgia and contributes to the festive mood. Likewise, it is normal to have designated tableware, silverware, and decor for this season.
These pieces are likely to remain for years and be passed down from generation to generation. Norwegians are therefore likely to invest in nice, timeless pieces designed to last many holidays.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @matpåbordet (Ina-Janine Johnsen)
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Mat på bordet
Sara Linvåg Næss, Norwegian Lifestyle Researcher
As we all know, Italian food is considered to be one of the finest in the world. That is why food plays a big role for Italians, not only because they love to eat well (and they know about their food!) but also because of what it means: getting together with friends and family to spend quality time together.
Italians take pride in setting their tables, even for informal or everyday meals and most families have complete sets of tableware, glasses, and tablecloths for the finest occasions.
During the Holidays this is particularly important as it is an occasion to gather friends and family to celebrate. Usually, the finest tableware, glasses, and cloths are used and a nice menu is served.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @csabadallazorza
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: La Cucina Italiana
Federica Manzi, Italian Lifestyle Researcher
In General, Germans have a strong celebratory culture. Food is one of the ways, people in Germany express their culture and therefore it carries immense importance. Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any other holiday in Germany is being celebrated by creating an atmosphere through delightful tableware and decoration.
This carries through generations and is practiced all over the country. Food is important to Germans, as they have special delights for all kinds of occasions e.g. Christmas and Easter, it is lived tradition. In terms of their cuisine, people in Germany have different traditions and views.
The north and the south of the country are really different in terms of food culture. In the north of Germany, people eat a lot of fish and maritime-inspired foods. In the south, people enjoy „Knödel“ and „Maultaschen“ which are some of the most traditional, iconic foods in the southern region.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @oneslicemore
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Hygge Magazin
Kevin Pretzel, German Lifestyle Researcher
France is often considered as the country of gastronomy and wine, and its cuisine is fundamental to French culture and heritage.
The French are very attached to their own local ingredients such as cheese and pastries and consuming these ingredients on a daily basis is essential to their lifestyle.
Festivities are highly regarded, and gatherings are often considered the perfect opportunity to consume delightful food with your loved ones. The French, therefore, like to invest in their dinner parties and enjoy setting their tables with sets of tableware that often have neutral tones to bring out the colorful and delightful dishes.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @marielaforetvegan
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: ELLE à Table
Ema Laurenzana, French Lifestyle Researcher
THE UK 🇬🇧
Classic British gastronomy is not as famous as some of our European neighbors, but the market for delicately decorated baked goods and afternoon teas in beautiful porcelain china sets as well as roast dinners, pies, and curries set on rustic tableware is massively popular on social media.
This is particularly true when it comes to vegan gastronomy. “Vegan foodies” from the UK are highly influential in the overall global movement of breaking the negative stereotype around veganism and normalizing it as a fun, easy, and delicious lifestyle choice. This is one of the factors that makes the UK’s gastronomy scene stand out in comparison to others.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @deliciouslyella
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Delicious Magazine
Georgina Juel, UK Lifestyle Researcher
THE US 🇺🇸
Gastronomy is huge in the US as food is deeply embedded within the American culture. Days of celebrations, whether holidays or personal events – often revolve around food like it’s the natural companion to any social setting.
Much of the food we know to be American such as hamburgers, mac n cheese, and fried chicken does represent the county’s quick and accessible food culture.
However, its rich blend of ethnicities and cultures reflects its diverse gastronomy just as much and it is truly a melting pot of food fusions, regarding both flavor and gastronomy level. This has resulted in food generally being strongly associated with culture and community.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @sophia_roe
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Bon Appetit Magazine
Cerena Kulego, US Lifestyle Researcher
The Netherlands 🇳🇱
Although there is a clear growing influence from other cultures in The Netherlands, you will see that the typical Dutch food traditions will not disappear anytime soon.
The dutch people are known for their stews, licorice, cheese, poffertjes and bitterballen. They often choose bread for lunch, and a combination of potatoes, vegetables, and meat when they have dinner. Also, the Dutch people find it important to have enough vitamins in their food and they love to buy biological products.
During celebrations like Sinterklaas, Christmas, and Easter, they love to spend extra time on their food and the table decorations. On those special occasions, they go all out and spend months in advance thinking about the menu, the tableware, and what clothes to wear. When they don’t have the time to do that, they prefer to go to a restaurant to have this nice experience.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @miljuschka
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Delicious magazine NL
Michelle Achten, Dutch Market Coordinator
Although not considered the healthiest cuisine, Belgian cuisine is famous for its chocolate, fries, and waffles.
However, as Belgium is near the North Sea the northern part of the country enjoys eating seafood such as mussels and sea snails.
The southern part of Belgium is renowned for its large agricultural industry, and organic food is especially popular. Belgians love to host dinner parties with their friends and families and put much attention on decorating their tables according to the theme of their party.
Popular Gastronomy Influencer: @lili_food_and_go
Popular Gastronomy Magazine: Culinaire Ambiance
Michelle Achten, Dutch Market Coordinator
Ema is the Lifestyle Researcher for the French market at VOCAST. She grew up in Brussels and previously worked with fashion PR. She is currently studying for a master’s degree in International Development and Business and has a strong interest in sustainable and ethical practices within the fashion industry.
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