Craft Food Rides the Wave of Popularity

The term “craft food,” sometimes referred to as artisanal food, is one commonly used and heard in the world of restaurants and millennials, but what exactly does it mean? Is it any new, uniquely made food or simply food made by hand?

There is no singular way to describe craft food because every customer and expert has a different idea on its definition. What most can agree on is that it sits on a fine line between tradition and innovation. Most foods or beverages referred to as “craft” are hand-made with natural ingredients. It suggests that they are made in a simple, but skilled way. There seems to be something exciting and desirable about something being made in a natural and unique way because the craft movement has grown to epic proportions in recent years.

Most restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other food locations usually have some sort of “craft” food or beverage that singularly belongs to that location. Through visual appeal and positive personality brands, “craft” products usually send a genuine message to their audience.

Craft food and beverages attracts consumers in many ways. They are usually healthy and organic, making the customer feel like they are treating themselves to a healthy gift. Brand personality also reaffirms local pride, making customers feel good about supporting local eating places.

There is also the togetherness feeling of eating craft food or beverages. For example, if a restaurant has a social media platform, customers can take photos of the product they are consuming, tag the restaurant and share it with everyone else, making them feel like they are in on the “craft” delights as well. Whether it is in person or through social media, it brings people together by the exchanging of opinions, sharing information and recommending craft products to others. It creates a community or social need to be “a part of” a group that causes engagement and communication.

Craft beverages and food are popular among millennials, with a common notion to go crazy over trying the latest original drink or meal. The desire for originality is a mutual want, with consumers influencing manufacturers and distributors and vice versa.

The NCA blog reported that gourmet and specialty coffee beverages were ranked as one of the National Coffee Association’s five top trends for 2017. It shows that consumers are choosing the beverage experience over the beverage price.

According to an annual report by the Brewers Association (BA), small and independent craft brewers saw a six percent rise in volume in 2016.

David Sprinkle, Research Director at Packaged Foods, said in a report that consumers favor artisanal and craft foods, as well as authenticity and integrity.