Twitter and Facebook Have Changed How We Eat

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By Celeste Altus Comment

Social media has not only transformed the way we interact, but it has also affected how we eat. More precisely, what and how we eat. A new study called “Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture” shows people turn to online recommendations for recipes and ideas more often than calling mom.

We all have that Facebook friend who loves to show off what he or she just cooked. Last night, mine was someone with photos of his pulled chipotle molasses chicken. The study shows this has become a common way to find out about new dishes and try recipes.

According to “Clicks & Cravings,” almost half of consumers learn about food via social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, and 40 percent learn about food via websites, apps, or blogs.

What is interesting about this is we abandon two of our senses when it comes to selecting food, the study shows.

“Consumers used to rely on mom and family traditions for meal planning, but now search online for what to cook, without ever tasting or smelling,” said Laurie Demeritt, president and COO at The Hartman Group.

Now pictures and label ingredients suffice.

Moreover, the study identified three types of users: “spectators” who use the Web for deals, reviews, and recipes; “dreamers” who are using social media to share information and strive to gain a following; and “doers” who create content and are the most engaged.

The study was developed and conducted by consumer research firm The Hartman Group and Publicis Consultants USA, a food and nutrition marketing agency. The study was conducted across the U.S. in October and November 2011 with more than 1,600 online survey takers. Click here to purchase the full report.