The Evolution of Food Culture

Trends / Wellness
Catherine Falls Commercial
Davina Ajana
May 15, 2023
A wide range of factors shape the evolution of food culture
including globalisation, migration, technology, and changing societal attitudes. In recent years, we have seen a number of notable trends and shifts in food cultures around Europe.
2017: Healthy al fresco
2022: Street food comfort 
Next: Inclusive food culture 
The visual evolution of food culture
Back in 2017, European CPG food and drink customers favored visuals that showed healthy meals enjoyed al fresco by multi‑generational families.  Mediterranean food culture was often a key focus in these popular visuals to tell wellbeing stories around food that combined slow dining, cleaner eating, and quality time bonding with loves ones.

In 2022, there has been a visual shift to convenience, social dining and street food culture. European food and drink customers have a growing emphasis on ‘on‑the‑go’ consumption in visual choices. Once the domain of burger vans or ice‑cream trucks, in today's popular visuals, food truck vendors focus on fresh and nutritious ingredients like plant‑based burgers, salad bowls or comfort light snacks.

So, what next?
Our research has revealed that 70% of Europeans would like brands to celebrate diversity of all kinds and this can extend to representation of food cultures. From traditional dishes passed down through generations to contemporary fusion cuisine, culture plays a critical role in the way we experience food and drink. The internet and social media have helped facilitate broader cultural influence, which has allowed people to share even more recipes and food experiences across borders and cultures.1 This extends beyond key celebrations where food plays a significant role. Interestingly, 1 in 4 food visuals most popular with European Food & Drink customers focus on special celebrations like birthdays, weddings, Christmas and Easter with lesser representation around Ramadan, Eid, Hanukkah, and Lunar New Year.

When telling stories of cultural inclusion around food, visual details matter. Showing different dining environments, utensils, food preparation or local ingredients unique to different cultures reflects inclusion, culture exchange and wellness.  
[1] The Courier

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