Sofia Ulver

Livsmedelsforum 2017- Aktuell Hållbarhet “The Art of Selling Sustainable Food”

At Livsmedelsforum 2017 the 19’th of October in Malmö, I talked about the “Art of selling sustainable food” but more from a communication than a retail perspective. I first accounted for the latest quantitative research insights (from other researchers) regarding this topic and then talked about the main life theme (in my own research) of our time–namely what I call the neogreen revolution (which I wrote a report about for Jordbruksverket in 2012)–and how the food trends manifest this in such illustrative ways. Since 2005 I have been interested in the increased consumer interest in food, eating, and cooking–the “foodies”–and since 2012 I have engaged in more systematic research about (or among!) them. My focus has been on how the content of what gives status changes over time and who has the illocutionary and interpretive precedence to state what is “right”, “appropriate” and “what we should spend money on” in the foodie culture. Ranking institutes, restaurants, food critics and large media production companies such as Netflix, with their by now (among foodies)  iconic “Chef’s Table” has immense power here. And what the chefs portrayed in these various scapes are bringing forth, inspires micro trends, but also more lasting value shifts, on the global foodie market. In an upcoming Routledge anthology on Taste I and my PhD candidate Marcus Klasson delve into these Chef’s Table themes and from this emerges postmodern heroes with renaissance visions to save the world. The art of selling  sustainable food is–except from BEING sustainable–very much about understanding this symbolic world of foodies’ influencers and frame one’s communication according to its meanings.

“The Comeback of Craft”, Vaasa, Finland, March 2016

The 15’Th of March, at Loftet, in Vaasa, Finland, I spoke about how shifts in consumer society  led to the comeback of  craft consumption and production, as well as consumption and production of craft…in other words craft prosumption. If industrial society alienated us from our own nature, postindustrial society welcomes us back to terroir (the soil), boisoir (the forrest), and merrior (the water).  It may be involved in new processes, new flows, and it may be embraced by contemporary desires of postindustrial capitalism, but the craft is nevertheless at the core. Or rather; is the core.