Over the past several months, there has been great debate around the tremendous growth of foodstagramming – the practice (or perhaps obsession) of posting food photos across social media channels from Instagram to Twitter. Is it merely another way to capture our favorite memories or is it truly a nuisance and disrespectful to patrons and chefs, causing restaurants to become camera shy? A recent study from the University of Toronto asserts that our love affair with documenting our food in photos can actually be connected to dieting problems.
Whatever your position on foodstagramming (I happen to believe it’s perfectly healthy in moderation), there was no better spot for snapping away to my heart’s content than at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC last week for the Summer Fancy Food Show. From emerging beverage brands to savory cheese wheels, and everything in between, the show was pure heaven for foodstagrammers like me.
Many of the brands we stopped to visit were more than happy to pose for photos and eager for us to share them via our new @PAN_Consumer Twitter handle. The reason is simple: photos tend to provide the highest level of consumer engagement via social channels, and for a new or existing brand, it’s critical to provide your community with a variety of interesting content. Further, encouraging your customers to share their own photos – and providing them with recognition – is even better. And when it comes to food, most of us have a strong emotional connection, making our food photos a source of pride. For small to mid-sized food and beverage brands, fostering this connection with their most ardent consumers is absolutely critical for growth. Devoted consumers can be the key to an emerging brand’s success.
So while I’m not advocating that anyone to stand on a restaurant chair to capture an overhead shot, snapping your favorite recipes and meals is completely acceptable and encouraged.