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Food Marketing in 2014 Will Be Ugly

Food Marketing in 2014 Will Be Ugly
Photograph by Marcus Nilsson/Gallery Stock

Beauty is so boring, or so declares advertising firm JWT. Its 2014 trends report predicts that next year will be one to be “proudly imperfect”—including in the world of food. The rugged hand-made look is already spreading, from imperfectly shaped “artisan” pizzas at Domino’s, to uneven “carving board” cuts of Oscar Meyer turkey, to eggs that aren’t shaped like discs in McDonald’s Egg White Delight McMuffins.

“Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy, and the flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become neatly polished and curated,” the report states. It goes on to explain how everything, including but not limited to selfies (duck face), modeling (brands are crowdsourcing “real people models”), and parents (enter the Type A-minus mother), is embracing fallibility. It’s ostensibly a symptom of a newfound appreciation for individuality and authenticity. We are ready for the red pill.