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Counting the Cost – Food and the impact of social media
How is our obsession with photographing food altering the way the restaurant industry amd food producers around the world look at themselves?

Taking photos of what you eat and posting them to social media applications such as is a global social phenomenon that seems to be growing. Cloud eggs, Unicorn Frappuccinos and avocado toast all have one thing in common: Social media made them a hit.

The price of avocados is at a 19-year high, with the avocado toast trend as captured on as one of the main reasons for this. International coffee franchise Starbucks is enjoying shares near all-time highs too, with a nod to the pastel-hued Unicorn Frappuccino.

Over 208 million posts have been hashtagged “food” on the photosharing app since it was founded in 2010. This has compelled restaurants, food growers and the retail market to pay attention.

Fern Potter, a global digital partner at Carat, a digital and media solutions company, says that a change in the consumer mindset – from putting their trust in the government, to and marketers and now, each other through social media – in combination with the rise and rise in the popularity of social media has resulted in this trend movement.

She also emphasises the importance of companies factoring in social media at the very root of the supply chain to better understand what consumers want is the key to success moving forward, “There’s a definite need for businesses and companies to look into that data, to look at trends and targeting of how they can reach consumers and audiences in real-time, like never before. It can also inform new product development, the desires and wants of the consumers and how they’re talking and sharing photos of food and how they’re interacting with that presence online.”

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now taking photos of what you eat and posting them to forums like Instagram is a global social phenomenon that seems to be growing cloud eggs unicorn frappuccinos and avocado toast all have one thing in common social media made them a hit when it comes to food these days the camera really does eat first two hundred and eight million posts have been hash tagged food on the photo sharing app since it was founded in 2010 and restaurants food growers and the retail market are paying attention that’s because making your product more appealing for sharing on social media makes business sense when a trend catches on it can have a big impact avocado prices are at their highest in data going back 19 years shares of Starbucks a near all time highs and it said the unicorn Frappuccino coffee trend is a factor in that all right joining us now from London fern Potter who’s global digital partner at caret character network that provides digital and diversified media solutions welcome to counting the cost fer what are we to make of the fact then that social media has this ability to move prices to move markets that the prices of staple goods commodities that we all use on a day to day basis yeah absolutely well social media is really exploded onto the scene in recent years and I think we have to look for a first out how people have looking at trusting their values so they’ve moved from trust in kind of state and government into trust in advertising and then through into trusting each other so the way of sharing and socializing media showing values and this is enabled businesses to really dig into the data and dig into how people are working with brands and how they consume brands to monitor their supply and demand and therefore is really an integral part of looking at the full supply chain of how they ensure that the food and commodities and production is linked to actually what people want in their personal desires just does this mean then that companies are having to figure in social media right from the start of the supply chain now they going to have to work out how products are going to be marketed and how people are going to share images in particular of day to day staples absolutely I think there’s a there’s a definite need to for companies and businesses to look into that data to look at trends and targeting of how they can reach consumers and reach audiences in real time right never before it can also inform new product development and the desires and wants of each of the consumers and how they’re talking and sharing photos and food and interacting with that presence online it’s created a bit of a globalization as want to validation of people’s choices but also how people experience can be can be widened and there’s a breadth fair so companies really need to dig into that information to be able to inform their business choices and and to be able to meet a supply and demand of the consumer I think there’s a definite interest we’ve seen Pop.Sugar in the US we’ve seen Amazon Prime come up that there needs to be a link to e commerce in to enable people that are looking and searching online and using social media to go direct from the products that they enjoy they like and that they see in social media to purchase and there’s an immediacy which is which is predominant in our generation and with Millennials personally I can’t think of anything worse than looking at pictures of other people’s food but but it’s it’s remarkably popular online isn’t it and on Instagram it’s it’s there’s a lot of people doing it to what extent is that is that driving the restaurant business as well in that in that restaurants now are not just thinking about the way that their food tastes but they’ve got to think of of the way the food looks how it’s served the the the crockery that it’s on the way the table is laid out the deck or of the restaurant because of course it’s now become a visual experience as well as a a tasting experience it’s so true I’ve seen recently in London a restaurant opening that’s kind of Instagram ready so you don’t require filters etc and it is a new phenomenon but people like to share people want to social they want validation to their friends they want to experience other things that people haven’t there’s this whole culture of reviewing and being able to access something you wouldn’t necessarily have done so before is an ongoing trend but I think that it’s just the nature of how our society works at the moment this social media provides a platform to have those conversations that and in a time poor generation as well so essentially it’s facilitating a conversation that we would have previously had round the dinner table really is fascinating fun really good to talk to you many thanks addy for being with us today on counting the cost thank you very much. .