Foods and films go together

July 17, 2012

Consumers who recreate movie meal scenes at home can make their experience more memorable. Here's how supermarkets can cash in.

The sensory experience of watching movies has steadily improved with Imax, 3D, surround sound and other enhancements. Most of this is recreate-able for home viewing on a flat-screen TV.

There’s one way TV home viewing beats the movie theatre experience—and it has nothing to do with crinkling snack wrappers, people checking the time or text messages on their bright cell phone screens, or the ability to pause to go the bathroom.

We’re talking about food—specifically the ability for home viewers to practically place themselves in movie scenes by eating meals that the characters eat. Never mind the cafeteria slop from Animal House. The fine dining from Titanic or the wedding dinner scene in The Godfather would be fun to emulate. Or why not try for a more positive outcome copying the (unfortunate) Brazilian restaurant meal from Bridesmaids before the entourage went gown shopping. Even some of the alcoholic drinks from Wedding Crashers could add a fun dimension to movie watching at home.

Back when the Food Network launched, our sister technology newsletter XR23 wrote about the promise of supermarkets delivering the food and recipes to emulate movie dining scenes. That might be fun for a party, but it might be too time-consuming for many consumers today. 

What’s the 2012 version that The Lempert Report thinks could succeed? Perhaps it’s a prepared-foods offer from the supermarket that ties to a new popular film when it transitions to DVD or a streaming service like Netflix. Want a meal for two or four or ten people at home? If retailers set up a way for people to order an all-in-one food-and-beverage kit, either to be delivered or picked up assembled at the store, this could click.

One possible execution is the new Ikea Uppleva TV, which allows viewers to see products from its commercials via the remote control. It launched in European stores this month, reports GigaOm. In our view, this could work—either for consumers who want the food and beverage ready to eat, or others who simply want the items assembled with recipes they could cook, and which they’ll think of as fun and an extension of the food and movie experience.