Food Renegades

Food Renegades


Food Renegades

The concept of “hacking“ has evolved beyond its original use in computer lingo so that it’s often 
used to mean a clever way to solve a problem, complete a task or create a product. The 
individuals who engage in these creative behaviors are known as life hackers. 

In the food industry, a unique set of such life hackers are the creative force behind many 
changes and modifications to menu items or food products—known as “mashâ€Âups“—that begin 
as cuttingâ€Âedge experiments, but wind up as mainstream innovations. We call these the Food 
Renegades, and we closely monitor their ideas to see what breakthroughs will result from their 
hacking and mashing. 

In this paper, we will examine the Food Renegades and the quest for selfâ€Âesteem that provides 
their motivation and drives their behavior, as they relate to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We 
will see how these food pioneers seek to:

  1. Control their food, from development through consumption. 
  2. Learn about their food, thriving on this knowledge to stay in the loop and ahead of the 


  1. Restructure their food, upgrading an existing product rather than creating a new one. 

These Food Renegades are blazing new trails with their unique combinations, unusual flavors 
and creative ideas. We’ll examine how restaurants and manufacturers can effectively follow 
those trails to find inspiration for enhancing their customers’ culinary experiences, and we’ll 
explore how the Internet has helped to nurture this movement. 



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