Think Outside the Industry: The Story We’re Told About The Food We Eat

Is the story we’re told about the food we eat more important than the actual meal itself? According to a new study out of Hong Kong commissioned by the hospitality firm CatchOn, it might be.

CatchOn’s founder, Catherine Feliciano-Chon, shared her thoughts about the study’s findings via email with Fast Company, writing that consumers today appreciate a meal with a little backstory because they’re more engaged and educated than ever before.

Photo Courtesy of Fast Company

Photo Courtesy of Fast Company

“We photograph our dishes before we eat, we experiment in the kitchen, have food blogs, make our jams,” wrote Feliciano-Chon. “We not only look for the primal experience of the food, but also the emotional association it engenders. There’s something instinctively comforting when you know who prepared your food and their intention and inspiration behind it.”

Jim shared a similar idea about live entertainment in his post The Story War, where he wrote:

“People in live entertainment need to see that we are in a story war with, well, every other kind of entertainment and even information out there. I don’t mean it’s a zero-sum game or people in our industry should worry about ‘beating’ books and movies or whatever, but I do mean that strong stories will win the hearts and minds of the marketplace and bring relevance and strength to the business.

What do I mean by a ‘strong’ story? You can’t define it in your own terms; it has to be customer defined, and it’s rather Darwinian because what I mean is this: The stories that stick with larger groups of people are the strong ones. Subjective judgments about quality of writing or all of that may be guesses or proxies for a ‘strong’ story, but ultimately, a story survives because somebody who experienced it not only enjoyed it, but carries it with them.”

You can read more here about the study, and share your comments or questions with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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