Thursday, November 16, 2017

Staying Hungry for Chicago Food Media

Here at LCWA, we are always seeking to do more for our clients, and to be ahead of industry trends. That is to say…we stay hungry. Recently, that hunger became a little more literal as LCWA food PR team members attended the Publicity Club of Chicago’s luncheon “Word Hard, Play Harder: Chicago’s Food and Lifestyle Scene.”

Highlighting industry trends, influencers from across various media (including blogs HoneyAndBirch and AmongOther Things, ABC7, Ad Age, and Weber Shandwick) weighed in on Chicago’s view on the food industry. Here are a few highlights:
  • Balanced Diet, Balanced Coverage – Consumers are becoming more and more health conscious, while also possessing the inherent desire to indulge. Social content is dominated by restaurants that create specifically “instagrammable” dishes, but such restaurants rarely gain return customers. Indulgent content is a great hook (who doesn’t love to see flowing chocolate?), but in the end, people like to see media strike the same balance they seek to have in their own lives.
  • Easy Eating – People will buy whatever is most accessible. In the age of Amazon Prime, fast food is even faster when UberEats will let you open your front door to a McDonald’s delivery. In the grocery aisle, it feels like smaller companies are gaining a larger presence, but that accessibility doesn’t come without help. For example, Kellogg recently bought RXBar, so the same company owns your whole ingredients health bar as well as the Pop-Tarts on the other side of the aisle. 
  • Global Food, Local Sensibility – Globalization has allowed people to experience the cuisines of every culture without traveling. This continued theme of accessibility allows us here in Chicago to get Japanese food just around the corner from our favorite Mexican spot. However, this does not mean the culture of the cuisine comes with the food. Europeans sit and eat, or sit and drink their coffee. In the U.S., everyone feels they need to be busy and eat on the go. The speed of American consumption is influenced by the way we view food on TV, with cooking shows always centered around speed, challenge and competition.
So next time you get a meal (which we presume is right now, after reading this much about food), consider taking your time to eat and enjoy, or at least consider how the media has influenced the food in front of you.

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