What makes Thanksgiving the most Visible, Visceral & Memorable meal of the year?

By October 20, 2016 No Comments

Everything from the colors of the tableware and the aromas of food cooking to the football on the TV and the turkey combine to make an indelible impression on all of us. The team at Perspective Branding clues us in to a few of the season’s trends and shows us what makes a great V.V.M Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is, perhaps, the most memorable food event of the year. Here at Perspective Branding, we’ve been thinking alot about our strategy for designing memorability into a brand and how you can apply that to your holiday table.  We also take a peek at who is innovating in the design space and how your holiday feasts can be the most delightful ever.

Visible. Visceral. Memorable.

How do you create emotional reactions to a holiday? Let’s start with what’s on the table, what’s visible. When you walk up to a table dressed for a feast, what do you want to feel? If you are like most people you want to feel delighted, to experience that “ooh-aah” moment. This year, consider a few key components and colors that can add that WOW factor to your table.

The Impact of Color

The Pantone Color Institute, a world authority on color and the provider of color systems, developed a palette of autumnal hues anchored by cool, serene blue.  The seasonal palette includes a wealth of earth tones such as sharkskin, warm taupe, potter’s clay, and lush meadow and pops of color from a bright, rich purple and spicy mustard yellow to dusty cedar and aurora red. Playful but structured, these colors are a departure from the more classic or traditional autumn colors. Mix and match these seasonal shades on your table for a very now – and extremely memorable – effect.

Who’s Creating Memorability on the Holiday Table?

With a palette of colors from the earth and the sky informing design, it makes perfect sense to put together a holiday table inspired by nature. Katie Nathey of the blog Modern Mountain Life, pulls together elements you can find right outside your door, such as fall-colored leaves and pinecones, and weaves them into tablescapes that immediately transport you to the outdoors. Showcasing the natural wood of the table or adding a textured wood board to center of the arrangement is a given.

Design blogger Julie Blanner adds a light-textured linen over the wood surface, allowing the natural texture of wood and linen to create a natural effect. Apples and berries can also be interwoven to achieve a rustic-chic effect. The team at Elle Décor takes it to the next level, topping natural woods and linens with blue plates and white pumpkins. Another look which captures the seasonal colors, pairs dense green foliage with persimmons, pears and other fruits along with violet napkins. Or, add accents of fresh sage leaves wrapped in twine or proud, sturdy mushrooms.

Add Glimmer to Your Table

Lighting is also an important part of the design aesthetic and memorability at the holiday table. Adding a little glow can set a positive tone for the meal. Candles are a must as they add a warm, soft and subtle tone to the table. Placing low candles inside stained glass lanterns captures the spirit of the season. Copper or brass accents with flatware or cups, can stand out from the ordinary. Also consider adding a pumpkin or two painted gold or a scattering of pine cones tipped with glitter. The ambient light of the room will sparkle off of these accents as it will shine off of cut glass bowls or tumblers.  Martha Stewart, look out!

Don’t Forget the Kids

Kids love Thanksgiving almost as much as the adults. If children are a part of your holiday celebration, invite a bit of memorability to their party as well. This can be as simple as purchasing some kid-friendly plates. Or, have them design their own placements. Place neutral colored butcher paper over the tablecloth and place a cup of crayons next to each child’s place setting. Get the adults into the game, too, by asking them to cut out and write their own place cards. Keep with the naturalist theme by using leaf outlines. Kids will be thrilled to create their own turkey using their own hands as templates. Sure, we all made turkey outlines of our hands when we were kids but the reason this simple craft idea endures is because we all remember how much fun we had making turkeys using our own bodies as models! It also makes for a pretty darn cool, well drawn hen. All you need is paper plates, some colored craft paper, scissors and glue. Older kids and adults will enjoy creating thankful tree leaves that can be added to the table or to a sturdy branch placed on the fireplace mantle.

About those Plates & Cups

If you are feeding a crowd, purchasing enough plates and silverware to serve everyone is not usually an option. Consider compostable goods from companies that make responsible choices as a way to add memorability to the table. Chinet’s brand story is an interesting one. As a brand, their strategic focus has always been about quality and price, not sustainability. They have endured as a brand category leader for over 70 years because their plates hold up against the messiest, goopiest gravies and cranberry sauces. But their Classic White Dinner Plates are home compostable, made from post-consumer recycled packaging and look nice on any table. Strong. Durable. Elegant. And now add sustainable to their brand message.

Other companies in the space are Repurpose, which sources annually-renewable materials such as corn, sugar and bamboo in its line of 100% compostable tableware and Verterra, which reuses fallen palm leaves in its stylishly sustainable plates.
What about edible cups? Imaging a disposable cup that you can actually eat instead of throwing it away. LOLIWARE is the first and only edible disposable cup that provides a completely new drinking and eating experience. 100% plastic-free, gluten-free, gelatin-free, BPA-free, non-GMO, all natural, non-toxic, safe, and FDA approved, LOLIWARE is made from seaweed, organic sweeteners and flavors and colors derived from fruits and vegetables. Serve room temperature, chilled, or frozen drinks and desserts. Since LOLIWARE cups are made from a biodegr(edible) material so natural you can eat it.
They come in a variety of flavors: Yuzu Citrus, Tart Cherry, Matcha Green Tea, Vanilla Bean, and an unflavored “natural clear”.

And Don’t Forget the Bird!

The holidays are great for queueing up visible, visceral & memorable responses in all of us: the aromas of roasting meats and vegetables wafting in from the kitchen; the sound of the football game on the TV or kids playing in the yard; the traditional and new foods on the table, all blurring into one memorable meal. Some memories are less favorable – a heated discussion between Uncle Fred and Aunt May or a new friend who might have had a bit too much to drink. But the one thing most of us remember is a delicious dish, one that triggers a strong craving in that very moment. That visceral hunger and the sensory overload is just part of the delight of the holiday feast. But also remember this…if you overcook the bird, no one will ever forget it.

If you’d like to share your perspective or discuss ours, please email Peter Allen to schedule a conversation.