Have We Reached Peak Cronut?

Traditionally, cultural waves around food would take a much longer time to spread, generate hype and spawn imitators and fade out-  but not at the breakneck pace that we are witnessing in 2013. 

In the mere 4 months since its introduction, we've witnessed Dominique Ansel's croissant-doughnut hybrid explode into popular consciousness, creating unprecedented cultural waves.

The pastry has incited ravenous demand, creating epic six hour lines in front of his New York Bakery, even inspiring numerous imitators around the world.  A special "white glove delivery service" will also wait on line for you, at $100 a Cronut.

It seems that we have hit “peak Cronut,” where hype, spread of imitators and cultural capital levels have reached a crescendo. What comes next? Look for imitators to continue to sprout up around the world and for the cool factor to shrink as the pastry becomes just another donut option.

But this really isn't about Cronuts. What this about is the SPEED at which culture moves right now. Traditionally, cultural waves around food would take a much longer time to spread, generate hype and spawn imitators and fade out-  but not at the breakneck pace that we are witnessing in 2013. The graph of change in general (see the harlem shake’s here) explodes and recedes at a much more rapid pace than they ever have in the past.

Why is this? Number one is social media. These potentially slow-moving localized only trends get amplified exponentially on social platforms moving from sub/micro/local cultures to the mall in record time. And number two, is that as a whole, culture desperately craves novelty. In our media saturated, always-on, everything on-demand world, ideas tend lose their sheen quickly. Difference/novelty needs to be increasingly weird or memorable to stand out, and then, will burn brightly until the next big thing comes its way. Brands who want to synchronize with the on the ground realities of culture need to be able to understand the life cycles, trajectories and subsequent evolutions/ spinoffs of cultural waves as to appropriately create content, services and products that will hit their mark.

sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture. Follow us on Twitter at @sparksandhoney to stay up to date on the latest high energy trends.



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