What we eat, where we eat, and with whom we eat depends completely on the world around us. This even influences the way we cook and tasty results we dish up on our plates. This realization is a determining factor for my work as a trend-researcher.
I follow developments in the political, economic and social-cultural areas in order to recognize and signal food trends for my clients (private persons, companies and institutions). I read the relevant (international) newspapers and magazines, follow discussions on the Internet, and keep my ear close to the ground when around experts and those who form the public opinion (such as chefs, columnists, journalists and activists). I analyze psychological and sociological studies on the themes of food and eating. As a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), I am in regular contact with food professionals from all over the world. I travel to places around the globe where food trends are clearly manifested, and eat in leading restaurants. I visit a great many (regional) markets, supermarkets and specialist shops. I observe, participate and taste.
Trends are started up by innovators – independent minds who set out new courses. The question whether or not something will become a trend depends on the cultural and social environment in which the trend develops. This differs from country to country. On the whole, I observe the social side of eating, and am less influenced by the technology behind our food. In our striving for better and more food, technology has occupied a leading position; so strong, in fact, that we have become ‘alienated’ from our daily food. This is a great loss. I believe we are what we eat. Eating, and everything to do with this, forms the basis of our identity.
Trend rule: the future is in the past. Being aware of the past provides a far greater insight into the developments of the future.