Thursday 09 February 2023

Food and eating out is a whole new world of wonder on social media

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MILAN — If food is such a simple, everyday word, why has it now come to represent a whole new world of wonder? Eating out has developed into something huge all over the world, and suddenly everyone cares greatly about what they eat: how healthy it is, how gourmet it is, how good it looks.

It has taken the Internet by storm, especially in terms of photos posted. It is the big talking point of our times, even taking over from politics and religion as the most widely discussed topic.

So what are the most frequent words used when it comes to the online food debate?

Google tells us that in Italy, for example, three English terms in particular have stood out in the last 30 days: “street food”, “fast food” and “slow food”, expressions that have indeed now entered the Italian language. Two opposing philosophies that reflect the two very different approaches we have to food: the rushed way we “grab a bite to eat” any time any place as we go about our hectic daily lives, and the much slower-paced, gourmet approach we adopt, say, at the weekend, or whenever there is more time and we can indulge in something altogether more exclusive.

The two approaches are well represented by the offerings of the two complementary Fiera Milano events regarding food: TUTTOFOOD, the international B2B food & beverage fair being held from 6 to 9 May 2019 and Hostmilano, the leading trade fair for the Ho.Re.Ca, retail and hotel sector, which runs from 18 to 22 October 2019.

Other popular terms that come out on top when you analyse user searches in Italy are “food truck”, “food network”, “finger food” and the ever-popular “Italian food”.
The geographical area people look up most on line – according to data recorded by Google Trends on 5 March 2019 – is Val d’Aosta, followed by the “big” regions of Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

But Google searches aside, food is quite simply a big sensation on social networks, and our two food events have always had their Instagram accounts, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, where they present the very latest trends and new ideas in their respective sectors.

On analysis platform Talkwalker, we read that TUTTOFOOD is even being talked about in places as far afield as Greece, the United States, China, Russia, Spain and the United Arab Emirates – an indication of the high degree of internationalisation the two events now enjoy.

As for hashtags, TUTTOFOOD is primarily associated with #cucina, #ilovecooking, #tasty, #delicious, #foodism and #instafood. Not many are in Italian, because photo-oriented social media prefer the concision of the English language, capable as it is of summing up in one short word a key aspect of what people like about food.

The big Italian words on TUTTOFOOD reference those unrivalled aspects of Italian cuisine that are loved all over the world: territorio, agroalimentare, internazionale and qualità. And quality is something that the food & beverage fair will be presenting to its international audience at Rho Fiera from 6 to 9 May 2019. For further information visit http://www.tuttofood.it/.

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