Culture Mapping Food & Beverage Trends 2018


A 190-page PDF trend report with archetypes, trend examples and analysis plus a survey of over 2,500 US adults quantifying archetypes and revealing demographic patterns.

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Data Analysis & Strategy: Tim Stock & Marie Lena Tupot

Computational Linguistics: Taylor Cassidy, PhD

UX & Design: Dad Jokes, Allison Ball & Nic Sanchez

Development: Kei Yasui

Illustration: Lucilla Tubaro

Applications: DiscoverText, Google, Instagram, Pearson, spaCy, Twitter, UClassify, Urban Dictionary

Copyright: scenarioDNA inc. 2018

Patent: System & Method of Culture Mapping, U.S. Patent No. 9,002,755

What’s for dinner? A seemingly innocuous question that begets many more questions than answers. Questions about access, food security, food policies, authenticity, health and sustainability supercede flavor. This makes following trends in the food industry rather elusive. It’s certainly easy to collect fodder (no pun intended). Yet, there is a serious structure underlying all the grub we find.

Food trends look to our past and peer beyond our future. Ideas are scoured for locally and globally. And foraged for high and low. It’s never as simple as quantifying the number or frequency of trends. What’s most important is that a system is developing that can begin to structure answers to our questions.

We have created a culture map of food conversation. Culture mapping (developing codes and archetypes) helps us understand and explain what is going on.

From 10,000 tweets, we have pulled together the most insightful, provocative and curious tweets from about 50 renowned names in the worldwide food industry, as well as other leaders who are not well-known but propel the dialog. Each tweet represents a directional food industry occurrence. There are 140 total. Cultural signifiers live within each tweet. Some repeat. Some do not. There are more than 250 signifiers that begin to establish four archetypes of ideology.

The Idealist figures out every step of the process so that things work in a way they believe they should. Driven by truth and synchronization, they are well aware of the failures in the existing food system. They give a voice to its shortcomings and incite the call for renewed meaning in society.

The Artisan is emboldened by their confidence and their ability to develop technique inspired by the calls for new meaning. Driven by experimentation and involvement, they require modularity and thrive on improvisation. They bring new perspectives to the table, boldly pulling from diverse influences.

The Presenter hears and sees these evolutions. Their knowledge, in turn, belabors their quest to do things right and share how with others. Driven by transparency and knowledge, fluidity to their routine gives them the confidence they require to share information and gain the social currency they seek.

The Automatic comes upon trends once they have been sanctioned and commoditized. They see no benefit from exerting effort before then. Driven by ease and assurance, however, a healthier improvement in their shopping behavior might happen if their neighborhood sees gentrification.

To better visualize the archetypal patterns, the body of tweets is also organized into nine categories: eateries, what we eat, how we eat, food skills, food sourcing, packaging, food security, food policy and sustainability. Sustainability and food security dominate the conversations, but within those categories, there is a deeper story to understand. For example, the codes of experimentation and involvement rank high inside the category of food security. This demonstrates a creative spin on something people tend to think of as very tactical. The theme of creativity is critical. It even permeates conversations of sustainability. This makes way for the art of science and the possibilities for fusion to really demonstrate themselves. No surprise.

The tweets are also assigned geotags. By seeing the archetypes and cross referencing geo-locations, we can see that the four archetypes sweep across the globe. Globally, it is critical to conspire with culture. These ideologies balance what we think we know about the regions with what we could not yet imagine.