Gastrosophy, packaging and other pleasures
Sotin (Germany) 1851, Chevalier de Lelly lays the foundations of the concept of Gastrosophy, describing it as the science of appetites, joys, and feelings. A combination of pleasure and knowledge.
A gourmet is a person who is an expert in gastronomy or fond of exquisite food; it is assumed that a gourmet will not only enjoy the best quality food, but will also show interest in artistic and cultural matters.
Rome 1986, McDonald’s inaugurates a branch in the middle of Piazza di Spagna; in protest to this fact and to the fast-food concept, a demonstration is held, led by journalists and personalities of Italian culture.
As a consequence of this demonstration, the slow-food movement was born, which came to vindicate the concept of gastrosophy against the standardization of taste in gastronomy, a movement that is currently active and recognized by the FAO.
The entire world 2021, endless words next to the adjective gourmet are extremely familiar to us: Healthy gourmet, gourmet hamburger, gourmet magazine, gourmet stores, gourmet experience, gourmet market, gourmet recipe, gourmet gin and tonic…
Marketing takes over the word gourmet because it understands very well that hedonism is still very much a trend. The pleasure of food and drink is a luxury, it is experience, it is enjoyment, and it is culture.
we know very well how to separate our relationship with food in our daily life and in special moments
No matter how many centuries have passed, we still like to enjoy food and drink as much as Chevalier does. Gourmet today is about what you eat, how you eat it, where you eat it and with whom you eat it, and how you communicate it. And if it is true that we are what we eat, it is no less true that food enters through our eyes.
It is gastronomy itself that has taught us that the presentation of a product is fundamental to stimulate our appetite.
Although it has been a sector that, with few exceptions, has had difficulty entering the world of luxury packaging.
For the last 5 or 7 years we have been seeing an increasingly growing category of Gourmet products packaged in rich cases as if they were perfume, and I am not just talking about Champagne, wine or chocolate, I am also talking about honey, coffee, spices, oil, nuts and so on.
These last 12 months of pandemic and absolute change of habits have made us relate to gourmet products in a different way, we have seen the emergence of the concept of the “gourmet home”.
In these times of confinement and social distancing, the home has become a place of leisure and meeting, and gastronomy has been one of the great attractions.
Not surprisingly, the Pinterest study of trends for 2021 based on an analysis of searches and content shared on its social network affirms this. And taking into account that in the same report the previous year, 80% of the trends predicted for 2020 have been fulfilled, it is a report to keep very much in mind.
A countless number of creative initiatives to overcome the severe crisis that the pandemic has meant for the sector, have managed to maintain our interest in this type of leisure, culture or whatever we want to call it and, most probably, have laid the seed for new business models.
It is now possible to buy fresh produce online, the so-called “from ship to mouth”, which has awakened our desire to try products to which, until now, we had almost no access.
On the other hand, the great chefs have come into our homes, they have interacted with us, they have shared their secrets and cooking tips with us all. And they have done so for a very wide audience, no matter if they don’t usually have access to their restaurants for different reasons, geographically, economically, etc.
All this opens up a world of possibilities – will we see a parallel category of products grow, as in fashion?
As with the big fashion houses, perfume and cosmetics are a product category that, even though they are considered luxury, are more affordable and keep many consumers attached to the brand values, even though access to their main product categories is far away.
Signature sauces, recipe kits, development of the gourmet box concept (a monthly subscription with product in tasting sizes), new preservation technologies and delivery of great pre-cooked menus…
And if this enters our homes, so does the culture associated with gastronomy, and this is where packaging has a lot to contribute.
Packaging will be in charge of reinforcing and distinguishing the general food from the gastronomic culture, of communicating all the creativity that this type of product offers and, in short, of giving a name and a surname to this experience.
In the same way that there will be differences between packaging for a Champagne Brut or a Millésime, it will be the same between one olive oil and another obtained from the first press of olives coming from ancient olive trees.
And it is because, as we said before, we know very well how to separate our relationship with food in our daily life and in special moments. It is a tendency in full development, and who knows if stripped of countless events, where all the ritual that implied getting ready to socialize loosens up, the Gourmet product will now be the “new perfume”.
Note: if you are a gourmet, a person sensitive to luxury, gastronomy and sustainability, we encourage you to participate in the TO GOOD TO GO movement or similar, to avoid food waste as much as possible.
Carmen Yago, Marketing & ESG Director at Salinas Packaging Group