Paleo. Gluten-free. Eggs. Kale. These are just a few of the popular food trends, or fads for lack of a better word, that have recently came to dominate the national spotlight. Each is more unique and has more science to back them than the previous. Sometimes, these fads cause changes in the way that a small portion of the world eats, others have fundamentally shook the status quo and caused dramatic shifts in the way that society diets. Other fads last only a few months, barely able to get off the ground and cause any real change. Others have lasted a slightly longer period of time, only to be replaced by a newer idea that promises the same results.
While much of society focuses on the actual food aspect of the trends, what is happening to the actual manufacturing aspect? What are restaurants doing to the food industry that is having a dramatic effect of society? How are some restaurants changing popular culture with new and innovative ideas? How is technology changing the landscape of society?
Many don’t realize how much and how quickly our society changes and that the mobile industry is actually playing a fairly large part in it. This industry is creating, altering, and destroying many of these trends that we a consumer culture devour in mass amounts.
Mobile technology has caused a considerable change to the say that we as a society choose what and how we eat. Think back to pre-2004 (yes I know that is almost a decade ago, but I know you can do it!). This was a dark time, a time before iPhones, Yelp, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook had just been launched and MySpace was the dominant social media, the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII, George Bush was re-elected, the European Union almost doubled in size, and the Olympics were held in Athens. Now I ask the question, how did you decide where to eat? If you were walking around a big city for the first time, you didn’t have a magical device in your pocket with access to the entirety of the Internet. You couldn’t pull out your phone and look at millions of reviews for the Korean restaurant at the corner, or the Italian restaurant you passed a block back. Nope, you had to just walk in and take the chance that you could be getting a really terrible meal. Now lets fast-forward to the present day (you can wipe the look of horror off now, feels good to be back in the present doesn’t it). Those mobile devices that seemingly is always within arms reach has become now a way for us to look at reviews on a restaurant, find out what is close to us, contact a friend for a recommendation, or look at the restaurant’s menu.
Not only has the mobile industry allowing for us to have access to the internet at all times, they have created apps that can do everything I mentioned above, there are specialty apps to help those out there with special dietary needs find a food joint that has food they can eat. Apps like HealthyOut and Find Me Gluten Free, allow their users to search, and find establishments that cater to their diets. Other mobile applications like Foodspotting and Tastemade are for devoted “foodies” to share their meals with the social world. WaitAway and BuzzTable can really cut down on the amount of time that you wait in line for a table at a restaurant. Users can look at diners that use the app, and put their name on the waitlist for a table. Eat24 is another app that users can use to order food, but here is the kicker, they go and pick the food up and deliver it to you. Why ever leave the house when all of your food can be brought to you?
Just think about it. You can leave work at 5pm, take out your phone, place an order at your favorite restaurant, get in your car, drive to the restaurant, pick up your food, and then go home and eat. Much quicker and simpler than it was in that seemingly apocalyptic 2004 from earlier, huh?
It is no surprise the as the technology sector in continuously changing, adapting, and expanding. It is no wonder that it would eventually make changes to the way our world dines. You can look at anything that we consume in society today, and say, “50 years ago that didn’t exist, and now I can’t live without it.” The same can be said for the food industry in the last decade, and the trends that are following from the advances being made are a result of it.
There are so many different trends to explore and discuss that if I decided to write about all of them, it would essentially be impossible. By the time that I finished with them all, there would undoubtedly be a new one to talk about, and some of the ones I had just wrote about would now be obsolete. It is a real testament to how our society is evolving.
Guest Blog Post Written By: Daniel Coffeen