Food Emojis

Food Emojis
Object date First emoji in 1999
Place of Origin Japan
Designer Shigetaka Kurita (Japanese artist)
Materials digital pictogram

by student Héloïse Mariani

Emojis are part of many people’s daily lives. They have entered our lexicon. Everyone can propose emojis, but they are decided upon mostly by US tech firms in Silicon Valley. Existing food emojis correspond to western visions of food cultures. They represent western food trends and give stereotyped views of other countries’ food cultures. Not to mention all those that are left out. Food emojis have more power than we think. They can give voice and status to communities, and they can have economic impacts. So I think food emojis illustrate western colonization quite well, and how our understanding of food design culture dominates, stereotypes and is not inclusive of other cultures.

Pardes, A. (2018, January 2nd).The Wired guide to emoji. Wired.

Thomas, E. (Executive Producer). (2016-present). The power of food emojis [Audio podcast]. BBC World News.


Illustration by Héloïse Mariani. Dumpling emoji by Yiying Lu. Other designers unknown. They are all part of the Unicode Consortium.

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