What Makes A Food Instagrammable?

A semi-dubious survey has us thinking about the foodie photos on our own feeds.

My Instagram grid is 90% beagle, 5% Homer Simpson memes, 2.5% homemade baked goods, and 2.5% photos of me with noodles hanging out of my mouth. For a person who writes about food all day long, I don't do all that much food snappin'. Still, I found myself poring over the results of a new survey by appliance manufacturer Wren Kitchens, which assessed each state's most-Instagrammed food.

In an attempt to identify America's most Instagrammed food, Wren Kitchens created a survey and sent it to 2,000 people (40 people per state). The appliance company then asked respondents to look at a series of food pictures and decide "which images they would most likely share with their Instagram followers." Dubious survey practices? Oh, absolutely—but the results were interesting. Lobster topped the list, even in The Takeout's home state of Illinois. (I would've assumed Illinoisans would lean into grittier fare like tavern-style pizza or Chicago dogs slathered in sport peppers. Then again, pizza and dogs probably weren't on the list provided by Wren Kitchens.)

Other states favored trendier food photos; for example, charcuterie took the "most Instagrammable" title in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Washington, and West Virginia. Meanwhile, respondents in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, and Wisconsin preferred to post a photo of a steamy cup of coffee, while Californians and Nevadans favored breakfast pastries.

I guess this all begs the question: have we figured out what makes a food "Instagrammable?" Is it about the beautiful aesthetics of a dish, or is it more experiential? ("Here's this gorgeous piece of cake" versus "Here I am with my friends cramming some cake into my mouth," for example.) For that matter, is anyone still out here regularly snapping photos of plated restaurant entrees, or is that—forgive me—cheugy now? Does Foodstagramming have a place in your own life? Let's discuss.

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