Global trends in food and travel are going hand in hand in 2017. According to the American Culinary Traveler Report, the amount of a growing population of travellers who have become more interested in the various cuisines and cultures from countries all over the world and are planning vacations specifically to incorporate culinary trips, has grown with 25% since 2006.
Food is one of the most direct ways to experience authentic local culture – tasting new dishes, encountering unusual ingredients, enjoying local hospitality – and culinary travel-based TV shows, food magazines and food and travel blogs are catering to the rise in travellers seeking a style of travel in which cuisine takes centre stage. These travellers want to taste firsthand the flavours they have read, seen and heard so much about.
Food is the new luxury for people. Whilst luxury means something different to everyone, we can agree that it often revolves around flash cars, a beautiful home, expensive clothing or other material items. However, people’s idea of luxury is changing. More important now than showing off your new designer duds is sharing experiences of dining out or attending the grand opening of a hot new restaurant and has resulted in food becoming the new luxury.
This trend and the explosion in foodism is leading to all sorts of opportunities for food and culinary products that allow people to explore unfamiliar cuisines, experiment with unusual ingredients and experience new tastes.
People spend more money on food than ever before. Growing fads for artisan producers or organic food have driven up average grocery spending and he UK’s Office for National Statistics has found that Britons are spending less on booze, smoking and drugs and more on eating out and hotels.
People are spending money on experiences; holidays, seeing new exotic places, going to festivals, eating out – rather than accumulating more things. According to new research, people rate travel as a higher priority than saving for a home or car, or even paying off debt, with food ranked as a travel highlight, being rated the most memorable travel experience with travellers favouring local foods and local restaurants to taste indigenous dishes.
More people are looking for authentic culinary experiences to get a real taste, so to say, of the foreign culture and lifestyle – hence the success of Anthony Bourdain’s shows where he uses food as a way to explore the local culture and the custom of sharing a meal as a platform for communication and learning more about the country’s history, culture, lifestyle. This type of food-storytelling that revives the culinary traditions of old, by honouring the people as well as the place, has paved the way for the increase in food tourism.
No wonder then that there has been a boom also in apps and other online platforms such as Google’s AI personal assistance to help guide the foodie tourists in their travel decisions and an overwhelming amount of food blogging to entice the viewer. People love to share food on social media sites such as instagram and people love to look at food.
This worldwide hype of posting videos and pictures of food online for and by foodies is currently reviving a fifties-coined term “food porn”. The reason why food porn is strongly connecting with popular culture is due to the fact that people are exposed to food in their everyday lives. Food porn is experienced globally.
Language barriers can be bypassed by the usage of #foodporn making the trend accessible to all and at the same time exposing viewers to new and exotic foods they may otherwise never have seen or heard about further increasing people’s knowledge and thirst for more.
And for those who for whichever reason cannot travel, bringing the food from holiday into home, whether on screen or on the table, is a way to experience foreign cultures and taste exotic flavours thus enjoying a luxurious experience everyone can afford.