Trend Digest: Monochromatic Foods

CATEGORY / Food & Beverage TAGS / food trend, monochromatic food, trend alert, trend digest Fractals LAB / Gourmand DATE / July 16, 2020

Trend Definition:
Plates made with food items of similar colour.

Trend History:

If colours can boost our mood and stimulate well-being, then we all need some colour therapy right now. That’s probably why monochromatic food photography is once more becoming popular on social media, and – of course – especially on Instagram, where digital creators are posting pictures of plates involving different food items of similar colors. And if you’re thinking their goal is just to create visually attractive dishes, think again: in fact, in food every color is related to a specific function and benefit, which means that monochromatic meals are also aimed to improve your health.

The trend has been doing the rounds on social media for a few years now, but we might have the coronavirus to credit for its renewed popularity. In fact, during quarantine people had more time to curate their diet and get creative with their food. Having time is essential to create a monochromatic plate: consider that a single-colour flat lay may take over a week of preparation, especially if you want the meal to be complete, while avoiding food colouring.

French artist Sophie Calle is considered a pioneer of the trend with her 1997 photo series called  “The Chromatic Diet” which featured seven menus, for seven different colours. But we had to wait for the Instagram Era to begin, to see monochromatic plates become popular on the web. Back in 2014, Italian photographer Isabella Vacchi caused sensation for her artistic food photographs that were entirely  focused on a single colour. More recently, Jen Monroe, a pop-up chef behind Bad Taste Biz, also ran a series of monochromatic dinners, which featured pill boxes full of pickled daikon, lemon, finger lime, pickled ginger, cucumber blossom for the yellow meal and blackberry lapsang souchong–suspended gelatins for the black meal. Now one-colour meals are having a moment again, and they are especially popular in India, where different media are echoing the phenomenon. 

Trend Evidences: 

Jahnabi Basumatary, a materials scientist and culinary enthusiast based in The Netherland, is chronicling ‘12 colours across 12 weeks’ on her Instagram account @pride_n_food. 


New York-based Christine Wong uses to post many healthy monochromatic meals on the incredibly popular @conscious_cooking (101k followers), as well.

Kelly Pfeiffer from nosh&nourish (an account celebrating “colorful, delicious food”) is partnering with brands such as Nature’s bakery  or Danimals to create colour-themed lunch boxes.


Popular food bloggers like @foodie.yuki (Switzerland), @sugaretal  (australia) or the emerging @eatprettydarling (U.S.A) all embraced the monochromatic food trend, which sums, in total, more than 600 evidences on Instagram tagged #monochromaticfood, #monochromaticfoodphotography and #monocromaticmeals. 

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