P086
Food culture and food business

Convenors:
Maria Yotova (Ritsumeikan University)
Mariko Arata (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Discussant:
Valentina Peveri, Liza Debevec
Location:
101b
Start time:
15 May, 2014 at 8:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Indigenous foodways affect food business in various ways. But however conservative our food habits are, they may change under the influence of business. This panel aims to discuss how people's foodways affect food business and how food business itself may shape new food trends and preferences.

Long abstract:

A food business will never succeed, if it does not match up with indigenous foodways. That is why global food chains make all efforts to meet local tastes and needs, developing specific local menus and taking into consideration religious food taboos and food preferences. At the same time, our foodways are exposed to rapid globalization and modernization. They are also undergoing various transformations under the influence of broader societal changes, shifts in our value system, and ever accelerating commercialization. As a result of advertising strategies in food business, a mass-produced factory-made foodstuff may come to represent the taste of mother's cooking, the warmth of home and even happy family life. On the other hand, what we eat and how we eat is a very important factor in the process of building (and as a way of expressing) our identities. Thus, a newly introduced food/drink may become a cultural capital that symbolizes sophistication and wealth for the newly rising middle classes. Even the same food-stuff (let's say a hamburger), may have different cultural meanings and values in different cultures, depending on the social environment and historical background of each society, and this cultural value affects business conditions in each location. Through a discussion of the above-stated issues, based on case studies in different societies, this panel aims to reveal the complexity of the relationships between food culture and food business, thus promoting a better understanding of the various connections and intersections existing in today's food system.