Fad or Future

Is there value in meal kits made for the Instagram age?

Chef Skye Gyngell has teamed up with pasta company La Famiglia Rana to create a kit that is designed to get all the likes on social media.

3 October 2018
chefsitalianmeal kitspasta

“Snap, share, eat” – that’s the tagline behind a new range that aims to play on the public obsession with snapping foodie shots. The range is being marketed as the world’s first food kit designed specifically for Instagram and comes with premium ingredients, restaurant-quality plating instructions, an artisan plate and hand-painted wood spoon.

The kits have been developed by Italian pasta brand La Famiglia Rana and are curated by Skye Gyngell, the chef behind the restaurant Spring. Each set promises to be “filled to the brim with everything foodies need for the ultimate Instagram-worthy content.”

There are six varieties of ready-made fresh tortellini to choose from, including spinach and ricotta with datterini tomatoes, mint and olives; chicken and smoked pancetta with radicchio and Parmigiano Reggiano; and prosciutto cotto and mozzarella with girolles and marjoram.

Food paparazzi

While the price of the products is yet to be revealed, the guidance on plating has a clean look focus. Customers are told not to overcrowd their plate so as to be more creative and precise with their pasta placement – i.e., dumping a load of sauce on top is a sin. Instead, people should dribble little drops of the sauce on to the pasta. They are also advised to think about colour and texture when plating – contrasting bright hues, the shine of a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of nuts or fried breadcrumbs, and accessorising the shot with a glass of wine.

Not only will the kits be available in most of the major supermarkets, but also at La Famiglia Rana’s Instagram-inspired grocery shop, which is opening in London in just a few weeks’ time and is “designed to set your Instagram feed alight,” according to the company.

Gyngell, who was responsible for the pasta recipes as well as step-by-step plating instructions, told Eater London: “The world’s obsession with photographing our food has fuelled a rise in all sorts of odd-but-edible inventions, turned humble vegetables into mega-trends, transformed restaurant diners into paparazzi and inspired home chefs to spread their wings. I personally think what Instagram has done for food is great. Anything that puts beautiful ingredients on a pedestal, or inspires people to be adventurous and creative – and proud of what they’ve prepared – is a wonderful thing.”

So will Sparkie be hitting like on this concept?


Sparkie says:

Ultimately, this is a clever marketing gimmick. If everyone turns to do the same tomorrow, they would lose the crowd though. The novelty of it is a double-edged sword when it comes to Instagram. The value is in being the first.

I could certainly see the retailers adding a little note on plating instructions to the end of some of the recipe cards or the magazine recipes that they already regularly publish. It doesn’t cost them anything and it ends up being free publicity. They would be silly not to, but I can still see them waiting a while to do even that in case there is a negative response to the pasta products.

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