Once upon a time, the word foodie was given to those who enjoyed fine food and lavish dining experiences. If this were still the case, then the foodie community might be in for rough roads ahead once the dust from the Coronavirus storm has settled. Luckily though, as the world has evolved, so has the term foodie. Food culture is no longer just about sensory experience, it’s an ethical one as well.
Consumers of today want food that not only tastes good but is also purposeful. As everyone around the world is being impacted by the Coronavirus in different ways, the foodie culture will see an even more drastic shift to sustainability. The modern foodie will focus more on their choices and intentionally choose not only those that are best for themselves but also their community. From picking up produce at the local farmers market to dining out at the quirky store on the corner, modern eaters will become more deliberate about what they’re eating and who they’re spending their money with.
While many have claimed that foodie culture will see it’s demise with this pandemic, the reality is that it will only evolve to cope with the current climate. Foodies are consumers, and even if they change their methods, they will continue to consume, as they did with the 2007 recession. Back in 2007, despite student debt, working lower-paying jobs, and needing to live with family again, the recession only saw about a half percent drop in dining-out purchases from 2007 – 2008, and by 2014 dining out purchases exceeded at-home food sales. The recession didn’t guide it’s consumers to spending less money on eating out, just on spending it more purposefully, and that’s what we can expect to see in this crisis as well.
With the pandemic, we will see the food circuit come full circle. Luxury will no longer come to mean science experiments on a plate at the highest price point, but rather the perfection of simplistic ingredients and understanding the history behind what is being consumed. Food has always had the power to bring people together. Once upon a time, it was through creative innovation – presenting new foods in exotic ways. Now it will be through culture and history – presenting organic food in traditional ways.