First impressions are known to make a significant impact – opinions are formed based on how we interact with something or someone for the very first time. This holds true for food, as well. Our first interactions with food are usually through sight – while the act of eating is a coming together of our main sensory perceptions, no sense is as quickly stimulated as our sight. We first see, smell, feel and then finally taste our food. This explains why plating up is the most fussed-over aspect of food preparation. Visual appeal is just as – if not sometimes more – important as the taste of the food. Creating food is an art in itself; it makes sense for art to be visually enticing.

Seasoned chefs and others in the food business are not the only ones taking the ‘attractiveness’ of food seriously. Social media and the wider internet are proof of how phenomenal the “food porn” movement is among everyday people – food-related photographs are among the most widely-shared content on the internet today. A casual scroll through a social network’s newsfeed is guaranteed to include one food photograph at the very least. The visual element of food is clearly appealing, and technologies like the smartphone are enabling easy sharing of dining experiences; with the click of a button, everyone becomes an instant photographer.

Visually appealing brand messages have always helped pique consumers’ interest – the brain responds and relates to visuals more strongly than to any other form of communication. Having a strong visual strategy is beneficial – and necessary – especially for food brands; satiating people’s visual hunger is as important today as putting something on their plates.