5 min read
Out of the Fire: OLIPOP's BBQ Experience
BBQ: A Shared Human Experience
Whether it's a juicy piece of meat or a crisp vegetable skewer, BBQ'ed food inherently tastes better than regular food. But why? Is it because the food is prepared while outdoors, immersed in nature? Or because your family and friends are a part of the experience, participating in the process? Or because you sip on your favorite drink while perfecting your grilled creations? We’ve asked a lot of questions, and honestly, we don’t quite have the answers for them.
But here’s what we do know: all of these aspects make BBQ the universally nostalgic and happy event shared across all cultures. While they have various expressions, BBQs are, at their core, a timeless human experience of coming together to cook over an open fire. But like all traditions, BBQs are constantly evolving. Especially in summer 2021.
The Pandemic: A Shared Human Experience
Another shared human experience endured worldwide, the year of the pandemic, will live on in history. A moment in time that froze still as the fabric of society unraveled in front of our very eyes, the pandemic stripped us of the habits and rituals that make us human. One of the events that suddenly became forbidden was people gathering together during a meal.
As a company, we watched as people changed their habits while striving to stay connected during a time of despair. Whether it was sending OLIPOP to loved ones or doing group zoom taste parties, our consumers dictated our actions, prompting us to pivot and adjust. Just like everyone else, we were pushed, tested, and endured the roller coaster of a global pandemic.
While some business areas were affected more than others, none were as negatively impacted as hard as the restaurant industry. More than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments in the United States closed for business—temporarily or permanently during the pandemic.
We wanted to honor this space and highlight it as we make our way back to “normalcy” whatever that may be. Now is the time we need one another, and we need to reconnect in a way that sharing food and drink creates and encourages.
Out of the Fire
While we cannot foresee the ever-changing environment COVID-19 creates, summer 2021 is the first season that will allow the majority of the country to reopen. It will be the first time that most of us will be seeing our friends, family, and loved ones for over a year. And the hallmark of summer gatherings? BBQs.
We brought together chefs who went through the fire of the pandemic, and together, we explored the evolving meaning of BBQs. All from different parts of the country with diverse backgrounds and cultural experiences, our chefs shared the experience of reuniting with chosen loved ones while cooking over an open fire in celebration of coming together again.
As we share these rich experiences and explorations of the different revelations that took place during these BBQ gatherings, we hope you feel invited into these intimate moments around our table. While we don't know where the world will be when this reaches you, we're honored to share this moment and these stories with you, and hope you walk away inspired to celebrate the art of gathering once more.
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