“Cooking is above all an act of love,” says chef Maxime Bonnabry-Duval of community kitchen Refettorio.
This figure of the new generation of French gastronomy espouses an anti-waste philosophy. Every night, his restaurant hosts people in vulnerable social situations and serves them balanced dishes that transform surplus ingredients into delicious meals. For this former business manager, cooking is first and foremost about pleasure, and especially about giving!
81% of French people feel that food is part of their “pleasure” spending*
All around the world, food is often one of the only sources of pleasure we can enjoy several times a day. Thus, 85% of French people see cooking, eating and sharing meals as one of the pleasures of everyday life. And, according to the study’s respondents*, traditional French cuisine is a very good example the pleasure of eating. Pleasure can also be associated with other concepts such as ethics, responsible consumption, health and others. However, we must be careful, as consumers are now less receptive to food focused 100% on health benefits. The notion of pleasure now comes before health, even though being in good shape is essential to pleasure!
Foodporn: a guilty pleasure
According to psychologist Charles Spence, in an interview with Brut. (the new 100% digital video news site), foodporn is indeed a form of visual pleasure, albeit one with limits, the most important being mental fatigue linked to overexposure. Indeed, social networking sites are chock-full of food photos, stimulating the senses of mobile web surfers and subconsciously draining their self-control throughout the day. As a result, when evening comes, they are more likely to eat junk food. Sounds like a guilty pleasure!
Pleasure is a question of taste
Chef Damien Dusquesne, founder of the website 750G and the restaurant of the same name, extols the virtues of personalisation and interaction with consumers while at the same time highlighting the product and giving it meaning. The dishes he cooks up are not necessarily “Instagrammable” but the flavour is there, and at a nice price to boot. Dusquesne has no fewer than 280 different suppliers for 3 restaurants and a business model that is rather complex yet necessary to do things right and meet consumers’ growing wants, needs and expectations!
The pleasure of returning to our roots: towards more experiential shopping?
Providing a true sensory, physical experience is what the hypermarkets of the future aim to do. From tasting products, to cooking them, to testing them, anything is possible. Mass retail is turning into a meeting place, where people talk to one another and take pleasure in discovering new products, and where we can learn new techniques.
Thus, in China, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma recently launched a novel experiment called “New Retail”, run namely with HEMA. You pick your salad in a fridge that looks like a veggie garden, you pluck your live seafood right out of the water with your bare hands, you choose your cook and more. The world’s number 1 online retailer decided to bring shoppers a uniquely physical experience. In all, it has opened 22 supermarkets that are on average 4 times more profitable than a standard retailer. On the heels of this success, Jack Ma has decided to open over 2,000 New Retail stores in the near future.
Between flavour and business, food is today one of the sectors that is changing the most with every new digital innovation. There are constantly new trends and consumer habits to keep an eye on.
In the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy yourself above all. Bon appétit!
*Study run by Dentsu Aegis Network for Food Morning 2018