This week we bring you the 2012 food trends to watch. Today's trend number two is all about connection, conversation and a sense of community.
Trend #2: Never Shop or Eat Alone Again
The rise of food blogs has set a foundation for group food experiences. Food trucks tweet their locations and flash food raves assemble underground at midnight. And it is not about the food. It is about connection, conversation and a sense of community. It is estimated that 30% of today’s U.S. workforce is made up of independents – as a result they have a greater desire to be in a shared food experience – “let’s meet & eat” if you will. Apps like Foursquare, GoWalla, Living Social and Yelp have shown how “group” is better than “self” and expect to see super food apps that bring previously unknown people together with common likes; to eat, prepare and shop together. Organic and coordinated through these apps, these communities will emerge based on specific channels of food interest (e.g., Greek foods, raw foods, beef, vegetarian, gluten-free) versus the communities of old built around similar demographics or socio-economic traits. One key to success will be embracing LoSoPhoMo - mobile marketing enhanced by the location, social and camera features of mobile devices.
Expect the next app updates to include “social rewards” for these groups who shop together – much like the original concept of warehouse clubs – offering steep discounts for its members.