Tag Archives: Charlotte Beal

Scared cookless: Foodiephobia takes shape

by Charlotte Beal WHAT’S HAPPENING In a recent blog post for TheAtlantic.com, Lesley Freeman Riva wrote about a phenomenon she calls Foodiephobia: When Friends Fear Feeding You (5.26.10). Freeman Riva describes how she happily entertains (and cooks for) friends at her house, but then she began to notice that people rarely reciprocate. Finally, some of […]


by Charlotte Beal I love food, but I hate my lifestage when it comes to food. I have a job, a picky preschooler, a Bjorn-saddled infant and a husband who doesn’t get home from work until late evening. The dinner ritual pretty much consists of me doctoring something in a mad dash, only to find […]

Chaos Cooking puts culinary mettle to the metal

by Charlotte Beal WHAT’S HAPPENING As we documented in our “Iron (Chef) Age” trend, consumers are cultivating a competitive cooking spirit. The latest example is the “continuing social experiment” in New York known as Chaos Cooking (ChaosCooking.com 6.10). 45 people; 4 burners. The group gathers in a residential kitchen to simultaneously cook 1 recipe each […]


by Charlotte Beal Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday this year, but also on a three-day weekend for some lucky workers, and we bet that meant more people just focused on food and relaxation, staying home to cook a romantic dinner or going out to a low-key restaurant. Or they went to White Castle, which […]

WhatIsFresh turns New York farmers’ markets into searchable databases

by Charlotte Beal WHAT’S HAPPENING When a cook has a need for a specific ingredient, how does she know if trudging to the farmers’ market will be a waste of time? Enter WhatIsFresh.com, an online guide to the greenmarkets in the boroughs of NYC. Consumers can use the site to search by market location, day […]


by Charlotte Beal OK, so the Aughts haven’t ended on a particularly high note. It’s been a decade of extreme volatility, but through better and worse, since 2002 Iconoculture has been getting at the why’s behind consumer desires and actions. This week, we’re looking back at the most interesting, powerful and insightful pieces of content […]

The hot diet trend is turning women into cookie monsters

by Charlotte Beal WHAT’S HAPPENING Four popular “cookie diets” are the latest quick-fix weight-loss fads. Followers eat special cookies about six times a day, and sometimes an additional “normal” meal of low-fat foods, for less than 1,000 calories total per day (NYTimes.com 10.21.09). Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet has been endorsed by Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson […]

This year’s Iron Chef battle: Foodies vs. foodiots?

by Charlotte Beal WHAT’S HAPPENING New York Observer contributor Joe Pompeo coined a new word to describe the 20- and 30somethings who are obsessed with food talk: foodiots (Observer.com 9.22.09). You know the type: constantly posting status updates about eating and drinking, blogging about cooking (the more pedestrian concoctions, the better), sending digital pics of […]


by Charlotte Beal Three years ago, the family dinner began to come back in style. Research about the developmental/mental/societal benefits emerged, consumers said they were doing it more, food makers and marketers talked it up, and one company even came out with conversation-starter flashcards to keep the party rolling. Now, as we approach 2010, some […]


by Charlotte Beal Iconoculture recently published two trends, “The Recession 15″ and “We Are All Fat Now,” detailing the continued struggle with obesity as compounded by the Great Recession. Last week, a few fascinating pieces of data added color to the situation. 70% of consumers say healthful foods are more difficult to afford; 53% say […]


by Charlotte Beal Why beat around the bush? If we may say, Iconoculture has been hitting home runs in the trend department lately — getting out ahead of the curve on consumer culture before our clients knew what hit ‘em. In the food world, everyone’s buzzing about “taco trucks 2.0″ — Kogi Korean tacos and […]


By Charlotte Beal, Lead Editor News flash: The dinner-party template is no longer a roast, two elaborate sides and dessert. For one thing, meat is undergoing a bout of bad publicity (too costly by two). For another, who has the time? It seems the world is going partly meatless. It has nothing to do with […]

Signature Dish: Bastardizing Cook’s Illustrated

by Charlotte Beal My favorite cooking magazine right now is Cook’s Illustrated. It appeals to the control freak in me because the editors OBSESSIVELY tinker with and test recipes, like hundreds of times, until absolute perfection is achieved. Science is their friend, and muse. And yet, it does not speak to my lifestage at the […]

Signature Dish: Winging Pasta Sauce

by Charlotte Beal Serious Eats alerted me to a new book by Michael Ruhlman called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. In a way, it’s what I’ve been trying to do with Signature Dish – empower beginner cooks (whose ranks are growing thanks to the Great Recession) to know that they […]


by Charlotte Beal WHAT’S HAPPENING In May 2008, our “Consumers Eat It” trend told you about early changes to eating habits in light of food sticker shock. Now that the recession is official, it’s time for an update on the sitch — and the main developments are that foodies are going budget and even non-foodies are […]


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