Ethnographic analyst Helen Lundell says: “We've noticed evidence of a burgeoning enthusiasm for consumers recreating meals found in their favorite books or TV shows.
“Whether it's a get-together to celebrate the release of the next book or start of the next series, or just a playfully themed dinner party, they are sharing the experience through the food that appears in the background.”
Not just for geeks and über-fans…
And this is not just something that the “highly niche ‘geek’ population” is up to, claims Lundell. “A strong host of dedicated online and print resources is already in place to help people actualize the feasts they've been eating alongside their favorite characters.”
- Pinterest boards: Food mentioned in the Fifty Shades Trilogy and in Arrested Development (the banana stand)
- Blogs: Food Through the Pages ("Fictional food, realized"), Middle-earth Foodie ("Is it tasty, Precious?"), Fictional Food ("Bringing food from page to plate!")
- Published cookbooks: The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook, A Feast of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), Abbey Cooks Entertain (Downton Abbey).
Millennials, fantasy, travel and fictional food
So beyond the über-fans, who else is interested?
Millennials, for a start, who are better traveled, and have a taste for the exotic, says Lundell.
“Food represents a very new, natural, and visceral way of connecting with fantasy worlds and the characters who inhabit them. Like ethnic food, fictional food offers a gateway to foreign and liberating lands.
“Furthermore, these new places are actually more accessible to many consumers than the distant but factual geographical locations.”
She adds: “Fictional food allows consumers to connect with new people, places, and flavors; facilitates bonding with familiar friends and family; and capitalizes on consumers' love of creation. This is a highly potent combination, and it suggests that fictional food is a trend worth watching.”
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