Dine under the stars: Why zodiac-themed food and drink is popular

If I was eating by my zodiac sign this week, I’d start with a champagne and rose lollipop, plus a cup of coffee, preferably a “subtle and delicate” blend like ReAnimator’s Ethiopia Agaro. I would order a spinach, artichoke and feta pie from At Giordanno’s, then make myself an Endless Sunrise cocktail with tequila, Cointreau, creme de cassis, orange juice and a slice of lime. I would also treat myself to something sweet, like Mamaw Emily’s strawberry cake or a simple cannoli.

In the food industry, chefs and creators are increasingly looking to the stars for inspiration when it comes to writing menus, creating cocktails, food packaging and marketing. I first noticed it at the end of 2020.

After almost six months of confinement, my local cafe reopened to the public in October. In many ways, walking through the doors that first morning was like stepping into a time capsule. The magazine rack by the counter was filled with weeklies and alternative newspapers that had been delivered in April. An employee was replacing leftover springtime decorations, such as Easter bunny cutouts and pastel-colored fabric flowers, with plastic Halloween skeletons and rubber bats.

Another used a rag to wipe April’s looping cursive ad – “The Bull,” an iced mocha topped with whipped cream and crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans – from the menu board and replaced it with “La Balance”, a dark and white chocolate double shot latte.

Now, I am neither an astrology detector nor an expert. I consulted my natal chart, but I only remember my “big three” (Libra Sun, Libra Moon, Sagittarius Rising). I don’t check my horoscope every day, even though I checked it today. At that moment, intoxicated with nostalgia and a slight giddiness at the thought of returning to some modicum of normalcy, ordering this special coffee instead of my usual black cold brew seemed imperative, as if it were destined.

Since then, I’ve become particularly sensitive to this trend of artisan, big-name food brands using the signs of the zodiac – and larger astrological events – to market their products and events. For example, in July 2021, Eataly Los Angeles partnered with The Spirit Guild to host a Zodiac Pop Up Bar. “Just tell us your sign and our expert bartenders will create your bespoke personalized cocktail – each one even comes with their own astrological affirmation,” Eataly announcement on his Instagram profile.

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This year, McDonald’s and Del Taco ran Mercury in the Retrograde Specialswhile in May, Dole honored “National Salad Month” by publish 12 different recipeseach corresponding to a sign of the zodiac.

“People’s interest in astrology has absolutely exploded in recent years, and it’s a hot topic on social media,” says Nina Kahn, astrologer and author of “astrology for life” and “Walk among the stars“So it’s no surprise that elements of this ancient practice have become widespread and have made their way into the marketing world as well.”

She continues, “Everything from food and lifestyle brands to tech and apparel companies have released campaigns, product lines and promotional content that are inspired by astrology and the signs of the zodiac.

Each individual’s astrological chart is made up of much more than their sun sign, which is the sign most people look for when looking at their horoscope. So a zodiac sign alone won’t determine exactly which cocktail, cupcake flavor or fast food combo they’d enjoy the most, according to Kahn.

“While some food brands’ astrology-themed campaigns can seem whimsical, they can also be meaningful and interesting, especially when brands choose to work with professional astrologers to create thoughtful connections between zodiac archetypes. and their products.”

“We’re all individuals, after all, and I think these types of campaigns are meant to be fun,” Khan says. “That said, each zodiac sign really rules over a unique variety of correspondences in astrology. For example, there are specific colors, body parts, objects, and even foods associated with each sign. on the astrology theme of some food brands can seem whimsical, there is also potential for them to be meaningful and interesting – especially when brands choose to work with professional astrologers to create thoughtful connections between archetypes of the zodiac and their products.”

One of these brands is Organic Amborella, a company that makes some truly unique seed lollipops. The organic candies are sprinkled with edible herbs and flowers. After eating, customers can plant the remaining biodegradable lollipop stick in the ground. If watered daily, it will sprout an ancient herb or flower that has a connection to the flavor of the lollipop. The Sage & Marshmallow variety produces a sage plant, while the Peach & Marigold variety produces a marigold.

A few years ago, Amborella co-founder Taylor Clarke attended a zodiac-inspired Dessert Goals event in Los Angeles.

“My husband and I thought it would be unique to associate pops with sun signs. I did my own preliminary research on colors and personality attributes, but ended up consulting a girlfriend who now has a podcast called The Vicious Virgos Podcast“, says Clarke. “It was a huge success.”

Clarke realized that Amborella would have to permanently sell the Sun Sign-inspired candies, which are now available on her website and at major Macy’s stores. She reached out to Hannah Greeleaf of Star & Leaf, an astroherbalism consultancy, to give her some insight into which herbs were best for the signs.

“She created a beautiful copy for us that lives on our website and paired all 12 seed lollipops,” Clarke explains.

Here are some examples of descriptions of Greenleaf: “Apples were used in ancient Roman times during the festival of Diana, goddess of the moon and reigning goddess of Cancer”, and “Elder is a master plant known for its healing qualities. immune protection, but is also toxic if misused, like many Scorpio herbs.”

Amid a constant barrage of ads, the zodiac-themed branding manages to straddle calls for individuality, as well as the desire to be part of a group.

This marketing is gorgeous (and it certainly seems a little more authentic than Wendy’s tweet about customers #SodiacSignes), but it’s also smart. Amid a constant barrage of ads, the zodiac-themed branding manages to straddle calls for individuality, as well as the desire to be part of a group. This is the same reason why astrology meme pages have widespread appeal. People love to share inside jokes — with thousands of other people born around the same time — about the traits associated with their respective sun signs.

“Essentially, everyone wants to feel special and unique, and the 12 zodiac sign archetypes provide a really easy shortcut for that kind of personalization — and I think food brands are taking advantage of that,” Kahn says. “Also, food and astrology go very well together, as they are both so enjoyed in the company of others.”

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