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Design Rebel: Food Porn Comes of Age

WARNING: If you are under the age of 21, easily offended by forbidden culinary delights or counting calories, please stop reading this post.

1209-food-problemMy next 351 words are dedicated to “food porn” and why savvy meeting planners may want to pay more attention to the visual appeal of their special event refreshments. Doubt the seductive power of foods prepared and arranged to please the eye? Print and electronic advertisers do not have access to our taste buds, or noses, yet they must entice us to want to buy their food. These companies rely solely on the seductive power of foods that look so good you can practically taste it. Thousands of dollars are spent making a modest hamburger, fries and shake meal look like a fast food feast. These ads get customers in the door, even though reality usually is quite different. Has anyone ever been served lettuce as perky, burgers as juicy or milkshakes as smooth and creamy as the food in the ads?

Food porn seems to have evolved in part as a backlash to the huge disparity between corporate marketing campaigns featuring meals that barely resembles the food offered in their restaurants. The proliferation of smartphones allow virtually anyone with access to social media to share mouth-watering pictures of real food.

food-porn-thumbMeeting planners are perfectly positioned to tap into this trend by using Facebook and Twitter to post high quality photographs of foods they plan to serve at upcoming events. “Food is an incredibly powerful thing. It can transport us places we’ve never been, remind us of our childhood, or take us completely out of our comfort zones. Food is a meeting point –a common denominator that unites all of us” writes food blogger Susie Alexander.

Using food porn to entice your guest to attend your event or showcase a recent activity has a low barrier to entry: it’s free. Point, shoot, pick a hash tag (#foodporn, #foodie, #vegetarian are popular according to Hashtag.org) and post. You’ve got all the ingredients for making food porn a part of your event promotion.

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