The Foodie Experience Journey

Here's a quick introduction into The Foodie (Experience) Journey:

There are four stages in which someone become acquainted with specific type of food, namely the Discovery stage, Onboarding stage, Exploring stage, and last, Mastery stage.

The Discovery Stage

The discovery stage deals with how someone learn about the food's existence, and it could happens both offline and online on the internet, or through other type of media (TV, printed magazine and newspapers, etc.).

Online wise, there's the Google search, Blog, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media which can be accessed by people from around the world. Creating your content in these platforms thus, will provide a good chance of getting your content discovered by a wide audience.

Offline wise food expo, consulate bazaar, trade and culture exhibition would be a perfect example of how someone become acquainted with foreign food, both in discovering its existence, and goes straight into experiencing it first hand.

For example: there are new documentary videos available on YouTube about Indonesian Food, made by the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) a.k.a "The Good CIA." Through watching the videos, someone is getting curious to find out more about Indonesian food.

The Onboarding Stage

The onboarding stage deals with how someone moved past knowing, into experiencing it. Mostly it happens offline when someone eat the food for the very first time, and getting in touch with the food's related attributes like how the people dressed up in the food's origin country, how the music sounds, and whether there are specific custom with how to consume the food, e.g.: eating with bare hands.

Online wise, some people with advance cooking skill might want to jump into recreating the food and looking for the recipe online. Or when they're already in the food's country origin, they might need an App to better inform them about how to get a specific type of food they've seen on TV or in the news, this is where the mobile application and food blogs would also help.

For example: Someone might read a news in CNN Go that claims Rendang as the world's best dish, and decide to visit the nearby Indonesian restaurant in her city, or the Indonesian Expo held by the Indonesian consulate in the next city, out of curiosity. This is when she experience the first time how Rendang Padang looks, taste, and feel.

The Exploration Stage

The exploration stage deals with how someone getting more interested into the food and start exploring for options. Whether it's looking for something more authentic than what they had, or trying out a different dishes from the same culinary origin.

This is where someone wishes to learn more about the food they have already tasted, and experienced the collateral aspects the food brings.

For example: After the initial encounter with Rendang Padang, someone is curious to try out other Indonesian dishes and visit a nearby Indonesian restaurant where she gets to taste the Sate Ayam Madura, Gado-Gado Jakarta, and Rawon Iga Surabaya.

After continuous exposure with the food then, that someone could become a promoter of the food, sharing his passion to his networks and contacts.

The Mastery Stage

Last the mastery stage, deals with how to keep someone interested in the particular food, even when it seems that someone already knows and experience the cuisine inside-out. This is a critical point that decides whether one will continue its journey in getting to know more about the food and the cuisine style, thus become the authority figure for the cuisine.

Or will she reach the stagnancy as she couldn't get a better resource to satisfy her curiosity?

That's it! I adopted the journey from Customer Experience Design end-to-end journey, and I used this as an illustration to outline the experience steps, in relation with my role as a panellist in Bango's Panel Discussion on "Peluang dan Tantangan Kuliner Nusantara Untuk Masuki Peta Kuliner Dunia" (Opportunities and Challenges for Indonesian Culinary to enter World Culinary Map), early March 2015 in Jakarta.

Based on my own knowledge, and the other panelists' stories, Indonesian food is still struggling on both the Discovery and Onboarding stages, and by knowing this situation, we could get a better picture on what Indonesian government needs to do for each stages, and which one should be prioritized.

As this is still a very early version of the journey, feel free to make comments or suggestions. (byms)

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