“The Way We Eat” is a great quick-read, if you haven’t already seen it on TechCrunch. Semil Shah, the article’s author, nicely articulates why consumers are hungry for (no pun intended) companies that can provide a more interesting way for people to connect over food. He cites a number of converging trends – including longer commutes and technological distractions – that lead us to “turn one of humankind’s most social habits into an anti-social event, a means to an end.” At the same time, trends like increased education around nutrition and a growing desire to connect are leading consumers to seek out higher quality food in a better setting. “After all, we’re not just what we eat—we’re also where we eat and whom we eat with.”
The article references Bowling Alone, a book by Robert Putnam, which makes an argument for the importance of “social capital” in our lives. (I just purchased a copy, and am excited to learn more.) One amazing factoid listed on the book’s website states: “Joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year.” Maybe you’ve just discovered another reason to join a Zoko!