How Food Brands Can Foster a Sense of Belonging and Improve Our Social Health

Actions may speak louder than words, but words are powerful, too

Irene Fassler
5 min readJul 5, 2022


Photo by David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

We all hunger to belong. Fostering new social connections and improving the quality of our social networks help us to live longer and happier lives.

Did you know that we yearn for social interactions in the same region of our brains where we crave food? And that we feel the pain of social exclusion in the same region of our brain where we experience physical pain. Essentially, tending to our relationships is a fundamental need just like food and shelter.

Our appetite to belong has increased

Traditionally, memberships in social and formal institutions and day-to-day community interactions have helped us to “belong”. Today, religious affiliations are at an all-time low and easy access to technology diminishes the need for face-to-face interactions in our communities. These trends are exacerbated by our new normal of being ‘remote’, thanks to the pandemic.

The imposed isolation we experienced over the last two years though, gives us a greater understanding and appreciation of our need for social connections.

Photo from Author’s Archives

Acknowledging a hunger-to-belong

I remember the exact moment when I decided to write a blog about our hunger to belong. And when I decided to purposefully foster more social connections — both in my life and beyond.

I arrived home after driving my youngest to her first home-away-from-home. She moved several states away. The house was quiet. This was not my first empty nest episode, but it was the first one since losing my partner. It did not take me long to realize I needed to find a place — or two, or three — to belong. And my journey began. Without truly realizing it, belonging became part of my personal ‘brand’.



Irene Fassler

Giving voice to our hunger-to-belong. Finding ways to bring people together. And I just like to write and read and engage!