The arrival of Foodie.fm sees two of our society’s biggest pastimes – food and social media – finally, happily meshed. ‘Social foodia’, or whatever cool name you can think of, is set to be one of 2012’s biggest trends.
The signs have been there for a while. Everybody understands social media’s popularity, while food’s utterly in vogue right now: new restaurants have never had more buzz, TV cookery shows are as prolific as ever, Jamie Oliver books regularly top the bestseller lists and culinary blogs have increasing prominence – some are now regularly picked up on the Evening Standard.
Following the advent of online grocery shops like Ocado, websites like Hubbubhave arrived, capitalising on the current love for independent shops, home-grown produce, healthy eating and supporting local businesses. Hubbub also offers recipes, and so now do most of the various supermarkets’ apps, with the potential to buy all products from a recipe – i.e. to online-shop via recipe, rather than the traditional fashion of sifting through products.
Foodie.fm takes these various progressions many steps further, and taps into our favourite modern pastime of them all: sharing. On the site, founded by Finnish clever-clogs, users can pass on and recommend recipes, tag feedback or suggestions onto them, or even add their own recipes. There’s also the possibility to order groceries, due to Foodie.fm’s partnership with Tesco.
There’s an iPhone app version, and the site is closely affiliated with Facebook, allowing you to import contacts and share things on Facebook too. But none of that is the really clever part. Foodie.fm revolves around technology which learns and remembers its users’ habits, tastes, budget restrictions and purchasing preferences, and then fine-tunes recipe and grocery suggestions in line with those.
Our online experiences will increasingly revolve around programmes that boast a scary, Orwellian amount of data about each of us, and Foodie.fm is utterly on-trend in this sense. (Worryingly, it even remembers your allergies – meaning a hacker with a grudge could, potentially, find out how to poison you!) It’s currently only available in Finland and the UK, with small numbers over here. But these are fast-growing numbers, and this is very much a watch-that-space situation!