Invited speakers include Prof Jeffrey H. Cohen, Ohio State University, USA and Dr Maktoba Omar, Coventry University, UK.

Join us for The Taste of City Conference 2016 themed “Place branding, marketing and food”. This conference will explore the role and impact of food in marketing and branding of places bringing together a wealth of scholars from various social science disciplines from Management and Marketing to Economics and Anthropology.

This unique event aims to bring together researchers, scholars and practitioners as well as policy makers to explore the ways in which food is influencing what cities are made up. Hence it touches upon human mobility, internationalisation strategies, protectionism from a very wide multidisciplinary perspective. We are inviting all interested academics, students, managers and marketers to this event for exchanging ideas to understand the impact and role of food and to develop appropriate strategies for cities and places in an ever more connected world characterised with supermobility and superdiversity.

The conference will bring different case studies around the world in focus. The key thematic areas and main questions are as follows, in which the submission of proposals are invited but not limited to:

  • food as brand - image and identity of place perceived through food: How are place and identity realized through an association with a single food item? How can be the country of origin can be defined in its importance for branding places through food?
  • food and special events/festivals - staging of food, collectivity, entertainment, show, commodification, spectacularization: Which are the main food events in the city? What is the role of food and gastronomic events in showing the city’s unique assets? What kind of opportunities do the events provide for the locals and/or the visitors?
  • food and cityscape - green markets, taste hunts, street food, foodscapes: How do residents and visitors partake in the invention and subsequent consumption of a food-themed place? Which are the foodscapes in the city?
  • food as experience - everyday life practices, rituals, gastronomy, touristic experience: What are the ways in which food acts as an influential factor in experiencing the city? How do the experiences can be linked to consumer behaviour?
  • food mapping (cognitive/mental maps) - phenomenology, sensory experiences, psycho-geography, food stops, random encounters: How could be a city organized and experienced around the notion of taste? How do the experiences shape our perceptions and mental structures?
  • food as sign and code - logos, slogans, icons, symbols and semiotics of food: What is the process by which food becomes iconic and emblematic of place identity? Does the city have a gastronomic icon? What are the examples of values, symbols and meanings attached to food varyig from one culture to another like a language?
  • food as discourse and myth - food narratives, cultural myths about food, ideological discourses and politics of food: What are the stories, myths, narratives are told about the food and cuisine? What are the discourses of food and taste that are carried around the world throughout the history?
  • food as culture - local cuisine and diaspora impact on food cultures: How do the historic uses and symbolism of the iconized food shape acceptance of and responses to that food item as a marker of identity? What are the ways in which food is perceived and communicated as a part of cultural identity?
  • food mobility - transnational food brands and food consumption: How pizza became a mainstream food for the world? When did the Turkish coffee arrived in London? Competition between espresso and Greek coffee? The journeys of Gyros, Tacos, Doner kebab around the world.
  • food and glocal-ization - global brands going local, fast food - slow food, celebrating local food: Where and how local food is offered? What are the distinctive characteristics of food in opposition with the homogenization effect of globalization?

food and sustainability - food industry, bottom-up food initiatives, fair trade, biodiversity, agritourism, rural development