That was before… Before social media platforms and tools appear and simplify our lives!
Food has always been social. Finding ideas, sharing tips, shopping grocery, rating your preferred restaurants, tweet with other fans during your favorite food programmes… All these activities can be done online with websites, blogs, mobile apps and even dedicated products such as the Qooq tablet or the Samsung smart fridge.
TV programmes, magazines and bloggers have been the first ones to massively invest this field. Bloggers began to post their recipes, share tips, take photographs of their best meat. Communities of fans started then to follow and interact, improving recipes while giving their advices. Today, when we are looking for ideas or inspiration before cooking, the first reflex is to get visual inspiration.
Pinterest plays a strong role in this appetizing experience. A lot of boards or accounts are actually dedicated to food, vegetarian meals, wedding cakes, kid birthday cakes… for the better or the worse!
A lot of mobile applications or websites are also dedicated to fooding. The Evernote food app for example allows users to take pictures and add notes for each step of the recipes. Tips can be shared with friends on Facebook and twitter. Another example is Foodily which brings together social graph (friends and influentials) and your favorite recipes. You are able to see what your friends have cooked, share tips with them, keep them on your Facebook timeline..
No time for grocery shopping? Not a problem!
Ordering your groceries online to be delivered at home or using a drive-through supermarket is as quick as picking up a fast food meal (even my butcher has e-shop and drive services!). The other option chose by brands is to « let the store come to people » and order the groceries with a smartphone. That’s what Tesco did in South Korea, with billboards in subway stations. Thanks to QR codes, people can easily order their favorite products to be delivered at home a few hours later.
Gojee allows users to find recipes with ingredients they have in their fridge or some they want to avoid. From then, they can order directly their shopping list with a Gojee partner.
Even doing the grocery list can be a real experience! With ZipList you share your grocery list with your family on all devices, receive coupons and deals, scan products and add to your list, search recipes… You can even use it to save the original recipe from Pinterest!
A lot of applications can help you to find where or what to eat. It mixes geolocation, friend sharing and rates. Foursquare is doing great there with points and badges to acquire when doing check-in. On the same model, Foodspotting is entirely dedicated to restaurants around you or scanning for places on a map. This application allows to see photos and comments, call restaurants, share on Facebook, like comments…
Cadbury launched the world’s first augmented reality game that can be played off its packaging using mobile app image recognition technology. For General Mills (Cherios brand) QR codes and mobile apps are a « digital version of the classic surprise inside the cereal box »! Digital tools for packaging are a new way to deliver content that engages and enhances the customer experience.
What does it mean for brands?
For products brands, supermarkets, restaurants, chefs… all these digital tools, social platforms and mobile apps are a really great way to allow customers to share, produce content, improve the relationship. If eating is a pleasure, it has also to be shared with others. All these trends demonstrate that brands have a lot of opportunities to interact with their consumers in a totally new and creative manner.