12 May 2023Read of the weekRead of the week: anime lovers find fandom in food

The food in anime has huge significance and importance for a growing cohort of global fans that favour the genres picture perfect edible treats. By bringing imaginary worlds off-screen through product innovation, brands are allowing engaged anime fandoms to find value in its real-world appeal.

J’Nae PhillipsJ'Nae Phillips is an Insights Editor at Canvas8. After an early career working in fashion and media, her passion for culture and journalism grew and she made the transition to writing and editing full-time. Outside of Canvas8, she can be found writing for her style-focused newsletter or adding to her growing book collection.

McDonald's is looking to tap into the ever-growing anime audience by featuring its seasonal Chicken Tatsuta burger in the pirate-themed anime show One Piece. In the campaign, McDonald’s positions its Chicken Tatsuta burger as a highly sought-after treasure by adding the burger to iconic episodes in classic anime style.

The global popularity of anime is growing, with the number of viewers who enjoy watching anime rising from 24% in the first quarter of 2018 to 36% in the same period of 2021. In a survey conducted in Japan, 88% of high school students stated that they watch anime, with this popularity spreading overseas as over 50% of global Netflix audiences engage with the genre.

As longstanding fans come together to immerse themselves in the worldbuilding nature of anime, they are more likely to engage with things that better embed them in anime culture. Since approximately 72% of Americans watch anime regularly with the highest number of anime watchers outside of Japan coming from the Philippines, France, Brazil and South Korea, there is scope to expand on this interest in other regions and industries to create hype and appeal to this growing global fandom.