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This chapter looks at how food and drink narratives are utilised to promote and create place identities. By exploring the concepts of heritage branding and constructed historical narratives, it illustrates how iconic cuisines are being employed to promote place and attract consumers. It argues that the marketing process is more than utilising established aspects of heritage cuisines and historical truths, as it is often about creating narratives to meet the evolving needs of destinations and its producers. Heritage and its tangible manifestations are being adopted to create brands, food iconography, and gastronomic narratives of place which do not always have an established or notable history to draw upon. As Lowenthal (1998) has argued, heritage has an ability to make the past relevant for contemporary contexts and purposes and provides existential anchors. Increasingly promotional campaigns are adopting these anchors and narratives of food heritage to offer a kind of certainty in a world of uncertainty. Certainly it is suggested that finding ways to unlock the hidden value of a brand’s heritage can harness past and present to safeguard the future.\ud \ud This chapter will present and evaluate promotional activities related to different market segmentations for food and drink and focus on how iconic cuisines are being used as promotional vehicles and heritage brands. It offers critical reflections which explore the agglomeration of functions as part of its discussions around destination marketing and cumulative attractiveness of place. By drawing on culinary examples from around the world it illustrates the complexity of creating place and what it is to be ‘iconic’; suggesting it not just the promotion of something pre-existing, but something far more contemporary, creative and strategic. Numerous marketing approaches and interpretation methods are used in place promotion through food and drink including the explosion of social media channels, events, cookery schools, and reinvention of place and it is important to look at how these mechanisms seek to target distinct types of people and market segments. Increasingly we are seeing local and regional agencies adopting food and drink histories and heritage branding strategies to attract visitors, promote political agendas and develop destinations. Further, it is also possible to find examples of national and regional marketing strategies and social media vehicles using food offer to attract additional inward investment. It is clear, despite its contested nature that ‘heritage’ is good for place promotion, and is good for business.
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