The return to Americana is a cultural movement characterized by the celebration of all things American. Americana refers to cultural artifacts, cooking, art, architecture, and history that distinctly reflect the US culture. Norman Rockwell paintings. Apple pie. Red, white and blue. Anything vintage America is up for grabs.
Throughout history, we’ve seen that recession and conflict overseas have a tendency to band people together under shared interest and struggles, reinforcing national pride. Over the past couple years, a love affair with American heritage has grown and been fostered through various industries as Americans rediscover the history, diversity and culture of their country. To see this movement in action, the fashion industry is a great place to start as they’re leading it with vintage full skirts, cat-eye sunglasses, acid wash denim, Native American prints, leather fringe bags and American flags.
As chefs and foodies rediscover the diversity of American cuisines/ingredients, interest in American regional cooking and food traditions will continue to grow. The annual National Restaurant Association survey, What’s Hot in 2012, cites several top food trends that fall within the Americana Movement. These should be watched closely as many will ultimately filter through to the QSR world.
- Locally sourced meats and seafood and locally grown produce
- Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
- Farm/estate-branded ingredients
- Food trucks/street food
- Soul/comfort/Southern cuisine
- Artisan cheeses, specialty bacon, ice cream, spirits
Within the QSR industry, the appeal of Americana is not confined to the menu. It also comes through in the store design and the experience. Sonic Drive-In, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Five Guys Burgers all provide an experience that provides homage to simpler times.
The diverse nature of this trend makes it one of the most promising food industry trends over the next decade. It’s simply a renewed appreciation for American culture.
Photo credit: ginnerobot