For a large proportion of 2020 and 2021 many parameters of life changed in a way previously left to reside in fiction and the philosophical rhetoric. Technology was embraced and the A.I. residing in its algorithms exploded providing a much needed outlet, or perhaps distraction, for many.
The internet and all its outlets became a larger part of life in a very short time frame, perhaps accelerating what many had believed to be inevitable.
While the negatives associated with this paradigm shift were numerous there has been great positivity emerging from the mire. A potential revolution for the modern digital age…
Values and habits altered almost overnight as a result of the many changes faced in 2020 and 2021 leaving their mark on culture and environment. A move towards humanity in its many forms. A desire to seek out individuality and ‘human touch’. Personal effort is becoming increasingly revered and rewarded, a movement swelling in many parts of the so called ‘modern world’.
Perhaps this is the ‘knee jerk’ reaction to the increased ‘screen time’ our devices so dutifully report each week.
I hope so!
For years in the catering industry value for money has been the demise of many a creative soul. Customers actively seeking out the cheaper option, demanding to see the value in their experience. Many creative artisans went underpaid and underappreciated working hours many other professions simply wouldn’t tolerate so the ‘all day opening’ and seven day week could be accommodated, enabling businesses to balance their books while meeting the demands of their customers.
Now there is a shift emerging in consumer values causing a swell in the desire for the personal touch, a touch of humanity in products and services. Phrases like ‘artisan’ becoming buzz words almost overnight. Consumers are actively seeking out products and services with the handprint of their creator firmly imbedded.
For those luck few who have weathered the financial storm that events of 2020 brought with, there is a real beacon of light and hope looming over the horizon. Those small scale ‘artisan’ producers and getting the attention deserved and their hard work rewarded.
For much of the 00’s and 10’s the individual was being overlooked and overshadowed by large scale corporations offering and ‘all under one roof’ approach to many areas of life including the food industry. Campaigns such as “save our High Street” and “shop local, eat local” gathered support but very little real change was seen.
While that remains true in many sectors, for parts of the hospitality industry this is being reversed. Local independent coffee houses, breweries, distilleries, bakeries and cafes, to name but a few, are becoming sought out and growing in popularity. What’s more the average customer is more willing than ever to pay that little more for the human touch and perceived effort behind the scenes! Finally there is perceived value in that bakery down the road who makes the most beautiful viennoiserie, the local brewery who’s ale is sublime, the café with stunning sourdough toasties, the local pub with steak platters to die for, that restaurant with such a creative plant based menu… and so on.
This is the beating heart of terroir, an ethos from time gone by swiftly becoming revered by this modern age. Craft and heritage giving rise to a ‘personality’ that is stamped firmly on the end result.
Terroir is the coming together of environmental factors and influences, cultural heritage and craft knowledge to enrich and bring value.
Products and services created with terroir impart a sense of importance and pride for an area, creating consumer confidence and an implied level of quality. Ultimately a ’known for’ aspect, an instantly recognisable level of quality that keeps customers coming back for more and keep them spreading the word.
This is what I want to help those brave souls, those artisan producers and creators to find and nurture.
Embrace heritage, respect environment and grow craft knowledge! Create a terroir of your own.
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