So, this week, let’s talk about foodporn in the restaurant industry. What is it? In addition to the ability to affect our taste expectations, foodporn is the glamorized advertising of food in an aesthetically appetizing way. Don’t feel bad for diving into your hypothalamus desires. We have all done it. We have all salivated over a juicy burger on a sesame seed bun. I don’t care who you are. If you’re anything like me, you look at food with a wide lens. We are designed to love the visionary aspect of delicious food. The reward center of the brain lets you know when it wants something. That same feeling increases more when it enters your mouth. Today, I am going to tell you how foodporn is an actual “thing.” Hold up your smartphone and get ready to capture the moment, I mean the donut. Let’s go.
It goes without saying, humans need food to survive. Unless you’ve eaten too much spicy food, the brain and the belly are best buds. They speak to one another constantly, letting you know when you are hungry or full, etc., This is where visual hunger, a term first defined by Researcher, Charles Spence as the rewarding act of just looking at food comes into play. In time, researchers and psychologists began studying and comparing the way humans look at and admire food and the way humans look at and admire an attractive human being. From this, they observed the reward centers of the brain and discovered the peak shift principle. The peak shift principle, coined by neuroscientist, Vilayanur Ramachandran, says humans appreciate exaggerated images of the human body. Apply this same principle to foodporn and you get the same response; a chemical release.
There’s a direct route from your eyes to your stomach. The visual piece in foodporn has a huge impact on the young and the old. I’ve seen firsthand the kind of excitement and joy food brings to people. I can also see why the response we have towards food is very similar to how we are rewarded when we see an attractive person. Burgers and bombshells, right?
From this, when you see something you really like, dopamine is released, signaling a, “I want it” response. This is the exact response you experience when you see a saucy slice of pizza and a refreshing cold beer. It’s not just a visual thing, it’s a chemical thing.
If you can photograph well and like food. Instagram is where the foodie’s lounge. Through the years, social media gurus have studied the benefits of targeting audiences with what millennials and the media now call foodporn. No late night subscriptions required. Being one of the most used hashtags on Instagram, #foodporn is all over your newsfeed. It’s clear, there’s a growing social influence using imagery to attract consumers, and most of us don’t mind it because how else are we going to get our date-night cooking recipes?
What is the most popular foodporn hashtag? #Pizza. As surprising as it is, #Pizza has more hashtag mentions than Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian combined. From décor to drinks, the desire to take photos of food and beverages across the globe has influenced the entire restaurant industry. Exactly how many hashtag mentions does Pizza get? 35 million and counting. A pizza pie is the square root of all things delicious. #Pizzalovers.
Sexy and Mouthwatering
Just when you think sexy wasn’t meant for the food space, the restaurant industry along with advertising changed everything. Aesthetically pleasing ads give the consumer an idea of what they will consume. Think of the last Superbowl party you attended. How many ads were geared towards food? Maybe you didn’t notice the psychology around the ads, but there’s a reason the producers choose the funny guy or attractive looking woman to take a bite out of a burger or potato chip. Foodporn in the restaurant industry has a purpose. The sole purpose being to attract potential consumers and make your mouth water by tapping into the reward center of your brain. A sexy man or woman eating a chicken wing is a formula for craving and desire.
Moreover, the reason foodporn has such an impact is due to how the human brain functions and perceives certain images. Hence why it only makes sense to capitalize on human behavior. I can assure you Cool Whip has been removed from store shelves for more reasons than Holidays and family gatherings. I’ll leave it at that.
How Restaurants are Capitalizing Foodporn
So, how exactly are restaurants capitalizing on foodporn? Through social currency. Restaurants are making money through captivating photography and detailed food preparation. In fact, restaurants openly admit to spending more time on making their food look, “pornographic” when posting on social media. Restaurants strategically design their menu and restaurant decor to support their social media following and revenue. Today, every single person who sits down to eat will, at some point, take their phone out to text or take a photo. The photos taken are like proverbial money shots for restaurants. Foodporn in the restaurant industry can be an additional mode of revenue. If I were a restaurant owner, I would take advantage of the free marketing.
So, What’s the Money Shot?
If you think of foodporn as you would a headshot, you will understand that the attraction is in the colors, the placement, and the plate appeal. The more colorful and luscious the better. Also, let’s not forget the closer, the better. Be sure to zoom in on that egg as it explodes onto a piece of toast. Seduction. See what I mean? Who doesn’t love a good foodgasm?
#Foodporn has changed the way we crave and want food. Depending on who you are, it is for the better or for the worse. Additionally, whether a dripping chocolatey delight, a melting cheesy mountain, or a freshly baked fluffy donut, food is sexy. Then again, add anything to porn and you’re likely to get attention. For this blog, I kept it appropriate for all audiences. The adult blog will be released at midnight tonight for one easy payment of $3.99. Kidding.
#Foodporn: because the food will never be looked at the same and that’s okay. Just when you think foodporn in the restaurant industry wasn’t enough. Word on the streets says #foodgasm is on the rise. Bow-chica-wow-wow.
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