Chapter 22: Concept experiences and their diffusion: the example of the New Nordic Cuisine
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One type of experience that involves all senses is food and eating. This chapter deals with an innovation, the New Nordic Cuisine, which is a new attempt to rethink food production and global food consumption. It may be considered an innovation movement – the self-proclaimed Nordic Cuisine Movement. The rethinking is based on material factors such as methods of cultivation and new food products, and on new experiences of food and meals. The aspect of experience, what we shall term meaning-creating experience, is crucial since this is what distinguishes this food consumption approach from more quotidian approaches. Meaning-creation (which will be explained later) is when experiences give meaning to peoples’ lives (cf. what Pine and Gilmore, 1999 term a transformation economy). The experience is not only individual but those behind it also attempt to make it collective as part of a kind of social movement. The aim of this chapter is to explain the New Nordic Cuisine in terms of a conceptual innovation and the diffusion of this innovation in society. The notion of concept will be explained later. A concept is, however, more than a product. It may include, for example, methods and principles, aesthetics and ethics. This will not only explain the food movement that the innovation has resulted in, but also provide a general understanding of development of social movements based on experiences.

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