Keeping It Fresh

Trends / Realness
Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick
May 7, 2024
The idea of freshness is pivotal to the visuals chosen by Food and Beverage brands, particularly when it comes showing visuals specifcally of food. In fact, our proprietary VisualGPS research finds that it’s the most popular concept when it comes to imagery downloaded by brands we work with in this category. While the idea of fresh food has dominated food and beverage visuals for the past ten years, the food featured has largely maintained the same composition. Let’s revitalize the concept of “freshness” and give consumers a bite of something new.

Come in closer to capture rich details
Whether it’s a smorgasbord of ingredients or handfuls of produce, visuals are consistently highly stylized in bright studio lighting, on neutral or organic backgrounds. This isn’t surprising, as food styling is a specialized craft that requires much skill to make things look decadent and mouth‑wateringly tantalizing to the palate.1 There’s an opportunity here to elevate these visuals, and food and beverage brands can lean into food styling by adapting new perspectives and fresh takes on the genre, with visuals shot on a macro lens to highlight the details and colors of fresh ingredients, which is rarely seen in popular imagery.  
Highlight where our food comes from
To better connect with consumers, consider integrating visuals that highlight authentic experiences with freshness and food alongside these delicious cornucopias of produce. As current imagery favors featuring raw or unprocessed ingredients, why not highlight these ingredients where they start? Highlight the farmers who cultivate the ingredients, the vendors who sell them, or consumers purchasing produce at market. Less than 9% of images depicting fresh food highlights ingredients or produce out in nature, yet VisualGPS image testing that indicates consumers are more inclined to prefer imagery that shows products in a real‑life setting. This can also be showcased by imagery of people cooking their daily (or weekly) meals, since over 80% of Americans cook more than half of their meals at home.2
Keep it fresh by making it fresh
It’s time to let go of "woman laughing alone with salad."As seen in popular imagery, fresh food has a direct visual correlation to health and wellness. Our VisualGPS research shows that over half of visuals illustrating the concept of “freshness” also depict foods that are considered “healthy.” This of course is mostly comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables—but less than a third of visuals conceptualizing freshness highlight prepared meals. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans cite that seeing other people using the product or service is the most important decision‑making factor for groceries/household items. Visualizing something so common such as cooking at home can better connect consumers to the products they use.
There are many different ways to evoke freshness outside of what we’re used to seeing in popular imagery. By utilizing different perspectives (such as macro photography or close‑ups) or highlighting different scenarios, such as where/how food is sourced and showcasing consumers making their own fresh meals, brands can better resonate with consumers, who will appreciate the accessible and relatable visuals.
[1] ABC News
[2] PR Newswire
[3] artnet
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