by Per Olof Berg & Guje Sevón
Originally published on Place Branding and Public Diplomacy
This article takes as its starting point the observation that food, meals and gastronomy are frequently used in the branding of places. The knowledge of how and why this takes place is, however, rather limited, and the aim of this article is thus to identify and describe the role of food, meals and gastronomy in the direct and indirect branding of places. The article contains three main sections, where the first is a clarification of key concepts and the methodology applied. The second part is an account of the ways in which food is used in branding places, based on the observations we have made as part of a multisite field study of large metropolitan cities. The third part of the article is a tentative and illustrated conceptual framework, based on the assumption that places can be seen as sensescapes. Food, meals and gastronomy contribute to the spatial configuration (sensory topography), time-space flow (orchestration) and iconography (sensory mapping) of these place-sensescapes. The conclusion of the article is that the character of a place does not only affect the experience of food and gastronomy in that place, but also that food and gastronomy is – directly and indirectly – affecting the character of the place and its brand-image.
Photo: Food & Paths. Gastronomy & Adventures