We all are continually seeking the current trends in the food and beverage world? Personally, I try to indulge myself in as many blogs, magazines, and trend events as possible to get a pulse on what’s happening in our ever-changing market.
To gather a better understanding of consumers, we identified seven macro trends apparent globally. As these trends evolve, we identified US cities that embodied each trend. Naturally, Frisco, aka the City of Love, the Golden City, and the LGBTQ capital of the US, fit with the Crafted Identities trend. Think of “The Summer of Love” or the 60’s without San Francisco? Impossible.
What is Crafted Identities?
This trend focuses on being unapologetically YOU. Consumers are less content to be defined by a single box and more willing to defy traditional boundaries of gender, race, ethnicity, and social conventions. People must balance the traditions of the past with new ideas and influences they encounter.
How does this relate to the Food & Beverage world?
I am making my food & lifestyle choices to help define who I am and how I want to be perceived.”
The seven trends I mentioned earlier truly impact consumer behavior. Every purchase consumers make, whether from a restaurant or retail, is how we “vote with our wallets.” With the Crafted Identities trend, consumers are choosing products that define who they are and how they want to be perceived. This could be a charcoal/”goth” latte that shows your inner rock-star, or it could be the elotes street corn showing your Hispanic Heritage. Consumers are discovering colorful flavors and hyper-acute regional cuisines to find what resonates and connects with their identity.
Goodbye Cincinnati, Hello San Francisco
To better understand Crafted Identities we packed up for San Francisco. We felt this one, above all, stood out for truly exemplifying gender fluidity, self-expression of all types, and pushing the boundaries. This is part of San Francisco’s identity. Just walking down the street you experience all walks of life coming together.
To start our trek, we stopped for drinks! As we walked to Anina we stood on the corner of Hayes and Octavia where the street art and tattoos were ubiquitous. Crafted Identities was embodied in this corner with little boutiques, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, and all walks of life connecting at the park.
Once inside we were able to experience the open and airy island-inspired lounge. The front window flipped open to the street, where the people watching is top notch. Self expression was apparent through tattoos, clothing, and beverages – from a businesswoman and a skateboarder to an older couple holding hands.
Anina highlighted some low proof cocktails with their spritz and aperitifs, one of which is called the Seafoam Spritz. They created this refreshing libation with elderflower, salers aperitif, lime, prosecco, and lemongrass. A simple cocktail with an incredible execution.
Next, we adventured over to Gracias Madre. This looked like a stereotypical mom and pop Mexican restaurant, but featured a unique element of differentiation: plant-based ingredients throughout the entire menu. This is not something I was familiar with and it’s fabulous to see how it united different groups in the desire to have a vegetarian Mexican experience.
The stand out dish was the ceviche tostada created with coconut bacon mushrooms as the “ceviche”. The coconut bacon mushroom was sweet and smoky. They did a great job of balancing the acidity with the sweetness of the carrot. I was surprised that I didn’t miss the meat: the vegetables were pickled and roasted making them flavorful and leaving us wanting more.
Media Noche is a traditional Cuban restaurant. Every month this restaurant invites an outside chef to curate a sandwich of the month. The proceeds of the sandwich go to a different foundation each month.
The month we went they offered an Indian Cubano, with the proceeds going to the Destiny Art Foundation. This sandwich was unique yet familiar, and needless to say – mouthwatering. Crafted with vindaloo pulled pork, curry leaf mustard, melted swiss cheese, apple fennel, turmeric slaw, and citrus pickled red onions. All the components came together beautifully and the Indian flavors delivered in traditional Cuban style.
San Francisco and the Crafted Identities trend go hand-in-hand. The city exemplifies gender fluidity, ethnic diversity, and above all, creating an identity that’s accepting of all expressions outside the norm. Walking down any street, you see many crafted identities come together as one.
Brought to you by: Carrie Born & Savannah Turner