As part of their commitment to make mobile better, Virgin Mobile Australia are taking some of our silliest mobile phone behaviours and finding ways to make them better. The first initiative will target one of Australia’s most popular mobile behaviours – taking pictures of meals and sharing them via social media – and make it better by turning those pictures into real meals for those in need, together with OzHarvest. It’s called #mealforameal.
Australian chefs Adriano Zumbo, George Calombaris, Andrew Levins, and the team from Gelato Messina have thrown their weight behind the campaign, and will encourage their legions of devoted fans and followers to get behind the hashtag. Here’s why…
Mobile phones have become as ubiquitous in the food world as cutlery. While it was once considered rude to have your phone at the table, now it’s normal to see smartphones taking pride of place amongst the plates or in the hands of diners as they eagerly snap their meals and post them to Instagram. Our newsfeeds are overflowing with pictures of food as we share everything we’re eating with everyone we know.
New Virgin Mobile research has shown that on average, Aussies are accessing social media apps through their smartphones for 14 hours a week! That’s 26 days a year spent posting, tagging, liking, commenting and sharing. The research also showed that food pictures are the second most common type of photo taken by Australians and third most common to be seen on social media news feeds (behind location shots and selfies) with seven in ten Australians admitting they have posted a food picture on their social channels.
With 60 million photos shared on Instagram every day, one can only imagine how many of these are of food, with ninety new photos with the hashtag #foodporn uploaded every minute.
Adriano Zumbo, Virgin Mobile #mealforameal Ambassador and creator of some of Australia’s most Instagrammed desserts, gives his take on how mobile phones have revolutionised the food industry:
“It’s hard to remember a day that one of my creations wasn’t posted to social media. The rise of the smartphone and food photography has gone hand-in-hand. While I definitely think it’s a positive that people are sharing a love of food with their phones, and the exposure for our industry has been incredible, I would also like to see how this phenomenon could have a more positive impact on the world. The mobile phone is such a cool device, why not use it to help those in need?”
Unfortunately, it’s not just our social media channels overflowing with food. According to OzHarvest, a charity that rescues excess food and delivers it to those in need, four million tonnes of food is wasted every year in Australia alone. In fact, we throw away food worth $8 billion annually. Where does it go? Straight to landfill.
Despite all of this food being wasted, two million Australians are reliant on food relief every year, with 90 per cent of Australian food relief agencies not able to meet demand for meals. It would seem that while we’re sharing meals on Instagram, we’re not sharing meals where they are really needed.
Virgin Mobile want to correct this imbalance and are mobilising Australian smartphone users to get behind a new, world-first campaign that takes food pics and turns them into real meals for those in need.
Every time someone takes a photo of a meal and shares it on their social channels with the hashtag #mealforameal, Virgin Mobile will donate to OzHarvest so they can deliver a real meal to someone in need. Virgin Mobile is aiming to deliver 400,000 meals through OzHarvest with its#mealforameal campaign.
Ronni Kahn, founder and CEO of OzHarvest, explains further:
“Every single day, OzHarvest rescues perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to over 500 charitable organisations around Australia. We are on a mission to eliminate hunger and food waste simultaneously and now you can help us do this simply by remembering one simple hashtag. So, next time you feel the impulse to snap that organic grass fed wagyu burger, tag it #mealforameal so Virgin Mobile can help us turn it into a real meal for someone in need. Then you can tuck in, feeling good in the knowledge someone in need is also getting fed thanks to the power of you and your mobile phone.”
David Scribner, Head of Virgin Mobile Australia, concludes:
“These little pocket miracles we carry around with us every day are so powerful, they have revolutionised the way we communicate and also the way we live. This initiative, part of a wider campaign launched by Virgin Mobile called ‘Making mobile better’, will remind people of just how incredible these devices can be and mobilise Australians to turn their everyday mobile behaviour into a force for good.”