The Food We Share

Trends / Wellness
Bridget Piazza
Sandra Michalska
Dec 27, 2023
Visuals of food, especially during the festive season, are everywhere and have a major impact on visual culture. From picture‑filled old recipe books to Instagram #foodporn pics, food visuals have evolved from the sumptuous to the sharing generation where the food we eat is instantly photographed and shared. More recently, with reels and TikTok, online food content is consumed even faster, and snackable food content has more new iterations for niche audiences. Think about the randomness of #girldinner, supersensory video recipes, or food ASMR giving viewers immense visual satisfaction.

So, why are we so obsessed with food on social media? How did it become a visual snack consumed through screens? Possibly because social media is now a primary source of entertainment for people. According to a global VisualGPS survey, 4 in 10 consumers use social media because it’s entertaining. It is no wonder that food, a source of great pleasure, has become a prominent star of the content we share and consume. And what about brands? What kind of visuals are food & beverage brands using?
Getty Images' global food & beverage customers use visuals to speak about, well, taste, and the most popular aesthetic choices include:
  • Quality and Simplicity: Flat lays with clean, white plates with a focus on natural beauty of the food. Colors are saturated, lighting is controlled and homogenous.
  • Artisanal and Craft: The artisanal approach showcases craftsmanship. Preparing, eating, or displaying food in a rustic environment. Here, the white plate is replaced by a wooden board. Color palettes are earthy, lighting is natural daylight. 
  • Macro and Supersensory: Color/Texture interplays allow brands to create more sensory experiences. Think about close‑ups of poaching eggs, smooth chocolate ganache, or veggies full of contrasting colours.
While popular food aesthetics range from quality and precision to artisanal and macro, they can lack the element of entertainment and pleasure that draws us into food visuals in the first place. A few months ago, we encouraged our customers to indulge in holiday humour when choosing Christmas visuals, as 81% of global consumers crave humorous content more than ever before. So, if you’re a food & beverage company and you're looking to create perfect snackable content for this festive break, indulge in entertaining, whimsical, and fun aesthetics. Think tilted perspectives, funny props and situations, unexpected angles and juxtapositions, and seemingly unrelated objects in exaggerated proportions. Stains or crumbs on the tablecloth will add to the authenticity and make your visual memorable. Handheld camera when choosing videos will bring a candid feel to your montage. The food we share—whether IRL or online and especially during Christmas break—is all about pleasure, indulgence, and fun. Here are some examples:
Modern Travelers in the Asia-Pacific