2018 Food Trend #2 - Tactile

The Lempert Report
January 04, 2018

If I had to point to one trend that I believe will have the biggest impact on our industry it is tactile.

The sense of touch – but expanded into all our senses

Think multi-sensory as the new secret weapon

The typewriter is back, in the Tom Hanks movie and book, San Francisco airport has a huge display of antique typewriters from well over a century that produced best selling novels, famous screenplays to even Beatle songs. Now we can buy a $249 metal typewriter keyboard that connect to an iPad. It’s all about being involved. Feeling and hearing the connection. 

New production record players and old style Polaroids are back.

We have witnessed a more intellectual connection to our foods, but now it gets physical. There has been a food information “overload” and we now need grounding. 

Over the past year or so we saw the first step – visually - unicorn colored foods, black foods and the like; now the connection moves deeper. 

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – or ASMR – has created a new food media world, where acoustic sounds like chopping, stirring, slurping, chewing, whispering and the crinkling of packaging trigger a food euphoria. A tingling down the back of our necks.

Not convinced? YouTube stars like ASMRDarling, HungryCakes, ASMRTheChew and GIBIASMR have tens of millions of followers and their videos views range from a lowly million to over 6 million. They have become the next food superstars where the lead viewers into another dimension to feel and hear food. 

In Shanghai, ALDI, who in that country only sells through Alibaba, presented a food fashion show where attendees ate their foods on the sides of the runway and models paraded their food fashions.

Poke bowls, and it’s many start up franchises, are popping up everywhere offering a variety of colors and textures. PokeKing, PokeBowl, PokeWorks, Ocean Poke, Hokey Poke, Bravo Poke, Wisefish Poke, Poke are challenging fast food and QSR formats.

Sampling will evolve from unemotional food presentations…to beautifully displayed presentations that expand the retail experience and go far beyond giving out a free morsel of food.

3D printing will create more tactile food experiences and become  a more efficient and lest wasteful food production method.

And then there is the phenomenon that is affecting this holiday season, also on YouTube, “as toy makers”, according to the Wall St. Journal, “are bringing an element of surprise to the holiday season.” It’s the unboxing trend – similar to ASMR’s food videos trend - CGTN explores size of the world of “unboxing”.

For all 10 Trends, watch the Full Video HERE