Branding Food Culture: UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy

David PEARSON, Thomas Pearson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Although branding is a well-established practice in consumer goods marketing, its application to intangibles is a relatively new activity. The development and continuation of valuable brands requires a return to those who invest in them. This article analyzes the co-branding between the United Nations and urban centers who are successful in becoming UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy. Cities with this status have the potential to generate benefits in the form of enhanced brand image, with associated economic and social rewards. However, to achieve this, significant ongoing investment is required to create awareness among potential tourists and investors, and in the development of enhanced pride and coordination among city residents and businesses. The relatively low number of existing UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy, being a total of five from around the globe, have all the early adopter advantages and challenges. It is anticipated numerous other cities will follow this lead over coming years as a result of efforts from UNESCO to raise the profile of its Creative Cities program, alongside individual cities prioritizing food tourism in their economic development plans and increasing global importance of food security as evidenced by it being the theme for World Exposition being hosted by Italy in 2015.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)342-355
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


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