Food for Thought: the Food Sharing Economy in Turkey and Beyond

Food is social. In a digital world, that social-ness has been brought online and to social media for many people as “food moments,” encompassing food preparation, shared meals and even consuming it.

The new trend

This new trend has opened the world to a new way of sharing, focused on food and sharing the meal, online. Existing models range from more traditional ways of buying food such as online food delivery from restaurants, to pre-packaged meal boxes ready to be cooked at home. Now, startups have harnessed the social and sharing characteristics of people’s relationship with food to create new ways on how people are able to get to tasty meals.

Finding new ways to eat

Feastly and Eatwith allow people to share their food with future friends, Mealsharing and Cookapp allow people create relationships by hosting people for dinner in their apartments, Culinary Club lets people sell their excess food online, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Similar to Culinary Club, but not limited to excess food, Favoreat connects people who love to cook with those who are looking for fresh, homemade meals. Favoreat cooks earn additional income by sharing their food, and foodies gain easy access to fresh, homemade meals, made just for them.

Why food sharing

So why are so many startups focusing on the sharing economy? By collaborating with one another, they experience benefits far beyond just buying and selling. In a world with so many resources at our fingertips, we want to become conscious in using our resources efficiently and having our needs met at the same time. Through this new way of sharing, we are able to make use of the resources that are already around us and get what we want in an easy way, and even customize the services to fit our needs.

By sharing your resources, be it space or food, the experiences from “trusted” sources add to the intangible value of the goods and products, the “feel good factor.” The way we are sharing rides with Uber and Lyft, to how we open our apartments through Airbnb, we are now starting to share food with people that we would have never thought of. Whether it is grabbing a seat at a chef’s table or having talented people cook homemade meals for us, people are willing to explore new ways of discovering tasty food in their local area. I believe that it will only become more common as we become more connected as a society.

Why Turkey is a great place for food sharing

Food plays a big role in Turkish culture. We have breakfast together, families unite
in the evenings around dinner table, and every meal is a feast on its own. There are many talented chefs in Turkey, particularly stay at home women, who prepare delicious meals and in vast quantities that would feed a village! While selling food through word of mouth to friends and family or buying from other referred individuals is common, in terms of food sharing, Favoreat is Turkey’s first such platform that paves a way to the home table. This means connecting to food from people who are “strangers,” especially online, is still a completely foreign concept. As we are trying to grow Favoreat, our greatest challenge is in introducing the concept of an online market place for homemade food, and making homemade food sharing a more common behavior.

As the online world embraces the sharing economy, food sharing is an exciting example of how the trend is evolving. What better way to create community and empower individuals through one of human’s most treasured pastimes? Thanks to pioneers in collaborative consumption who have shared a new way of living our daily lives, let’s see how food adds to that equation around the world.

Guest post written by Vera De Eskinazis.

Verda is the co-founder of Favoreat, a P2P food sharing platform. Before that, she worked 3.5 years with McKinsey & Company. A passionate foodie and an entrepreneur at heart, she left McKinsey to start Favoreat. Verda holds an M.B.A from Columbia Business School, and a B.A Degree in International Relations and Economics from Tufts University.