Trends are absolutely crucial to what we do at Bespoke – our food and our menus have got to be current, they’ve got to be future-facing and relevant – and that’s why we’ve got some really exciting news to share with you.
Two years in the making, and we’re ready to share Flavour Feed with the world: our digital flavour trends platform that allows our subscribers to innovate smarter – with me, content visionary Ashleigh Togher, innovation chef David Swann and retail insight and brand expert Richard Savage at the helm.
Here’s our story told through a Q&A with the team:
How was Flavour Feed created – how did it all happen?
DS: I was working as a development chef and used an internal portal for my team to draw on for inspiration and trends, and it just grew and grew and I saw the potential of having a trends resource accessible to the public, and how it could be commercial and subscription-based.
I knew what Phil was doing with catering and menu design and how important trends are to his work, so I approached him, and by that time he had already met Ashleigh, who filled another huge gap in expertise, and then we were introduced to Richard through a friend – and it just developed organically, which is always the best way.
RS: We all collectively felt there was a better and more efficient way to curate what was happening around the world to help us inform our clients on innovation and emerging trends, as well as tracking the evolution of trends as they develop. So we created Flavour Feed – a digital platform designed to make sense of the world of food and drink, to help businesses innovate smarter.
How does it actually work?
RS: Through global media, specialist food sources, and a network of experts and trend spotters we scour the world for new and interesting innovations and trends in the world of food and drink.
And then, following a curation process, write up the most significant as “Feeds” and publish them in real time onto our online platform.
This insight is sold to retailers, food service, restaurant groups, chefs, brand owners and caterers to aid innovation and leverage advantage over their competitors.
PO: What’s so exciting about it is that it’s live, it’s in that real-time Instagram style – it’s fast information and delivery, suited to the busy professional.
AT: And how we decide what’s relevant is through a system of checks and balances between our team that spans four generations and contrasting backgrounds. We also have a hand-picked Expert Panel that adds tremendous value and that we are continuously building – and they deliver an expert lens on their given field, from design to psychology, making sure we don’t miss a trick.
When did you think, this is something I need to get involved with?
PO: From the very beginning, I could see the potential.
AT: For me it was with travel, seeing things that people here didn’t know about, and seeing how this information could lend itself to innovation. Travel really makes me go, ‘People need to know this!’ But there wasn’t that resource/communication yet, and that’s one of the problems we’ve solved, I think.
What has the process been like building the platform?
AT: Very hard work because we wanted a specific aesthetic – we really wanted something that was very modern and clean but at the same time visually powerful and strong, so every single detail has been built painstakingly from scratch, because we weren’t willing to compromise. It had to have style but also substance, and you can’t forget usability – a platform is not just to look at, it’s for people to actually use to collect and share information, so that dynamic quality has to be there.
PO: Absolutely, and the reason why it’s so good is because of that meticulous attention to detail.
For businesses – why pick Flavour Feed?
PO: Because there is nothing else like it; it is totally unique, it’s fresh, current, exciting, changing daily – it’s a must-have.
Why is keeping track of trends so critical?
RS: If businesses don’t know what is going on and where the next trends are emerging then they’ll get left behind – we are the solution to that problem!
How is it different from everything else out there? What is the USP?
DS: Our USP is that we are exceptionally current – the content is created in real time so the information is ready for you, when you are ready for it – meaning you don’t need to sit around waiting for a static report to land in your inbox. And it works on all devices so you can take FF anywhere.
PO: The visual element and style of the content is a really big thing – the way that it’s short, snappy, easy-to-digest and updated in real time makes it completely different.
And what we’ve always wanted is something people would want to read in their down time as well as their office time, with content that’s entertaining and informative, and that’s what we’ve achieved.
Where do you see FF going?
PO: I see it going to every major city: New York, LA, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, etc – I think there is a huge appetite for tracking trends in real time, but we would have to put a regional focus on it in order to efficiently organise the content.
DS: Exactly – we see this going global within the next two years, annual FF meet-ups using our expert panel of industry experts, a potential innovation research center in Central London and much more – the sky’s the limit.
Top trend to watch out for?
PO: It’s got to be the healthy movement, and going forward I think food is going to become much more important in preventative medicine, with much more transparency on menus.
Thomas Edison said in 1908:
‘The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.’
It was said so long ago but it’s so pertinent to what’s happening now.
AT: In a sub-trend of the healthy movement, I’m also interested in bio-hacking and in foods that drive human potential as well, foods that allow us to perform, and not only do our bodies good but allow us to work better, have better relationships, be fitter and happier – it’s the same thing though, food as a tool.
TO DISCOVER MORE AND SUBSCRIBE: flavourfeed.com