Poster session: Buy Healthy, Tasty, Pure! A Digital Text Analysis of Neoliberal Trends in Dutch Food Culture


By digitally studying a commercial food magazine, this paper aims to bring to the surface the slow rise of neoliberal thinking in Dutch food culture. The impact of neoliberalism in food culture can be traced back to the postwar period and has been summarised by the paradox that worthy neoliberal citizens ‘must want less while spending more’. This paper focuses on the extent to which the major Dutch retailer Albert Heijn appropriated this tendency in its framing of the products it tried to sell. A digital text analysis of Albert Heijn’s food magazine Allerhande for the period 1954-1973 shows, for example, how the qualifications of ‘healthy’, ‘slim’, ‘tasty’, and ‘pure’ became discursively interlaced from the mid-1960s, and how the magazine offered a platform for products like margarine to brand themselves within this discourse. For the final paper, the studied period will be extended to cover the period until 2010.

DH2019, Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Melvin Wevers

Mevin Wevers has a background in psychology, American Studies, and Cultural Analysis. My research interests include the study of cultural-historical phenomena using computational means with a specific interest in the formation and evolution of ideas and concepts in public discourse.