In 2010, I predicted that 2012 would be the tipping point for all things “fresh.” As a professional trendspotter, I’m always a little ahead of the curve but never too far off the mark.
I’m looking forward to fresh getting the recognition it deserves in 2014. The produce industry is really stepping up to the plate to create national awareness and there were many milestones to celebrate at the New York Produce Show and Conference, December 10–12.
Everyday exotic: According to Chef Richard Leibowitz, owner of Culinary Specialty, “The trend seems to be to incorporate authentic specialty produce in everyday dishes.” We’re seeing the use of exotic products in simple recipes.
Taking a cue from snack foods: A lot of effort is going in to getting kids to eat more fruit. Great Lakes packages apricots in convenient single-serving packets in Fruit Bus boxes, while Decas offers fruits that really looks like candy. Nature’s Joy help us keep track of their calories by offering pistachios and almonds in 100-calorie bags.
Vegetables take center stage–even leaves: Green Giant was showing cool ways to grill and season lettuce.
Chef brands: Red Jacket, a local NYC grower, partnered with Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm to produce a cookbook out next spring.
Year-round cranberries: Expect to see these fresh, dried, wet and used in salads, cheeses, tarts, not just in Thanksgiving sauce.
Extended shelf-life: Vegetables with extended shelf-life are being imported to the states. Dorot Farm introduced carrots grown on an Israeli kibbutz.
Ancient dates: Dates are the oldest cultivated fruits still making headlines today. There are a lot more types of dates than before and the ones from Anthony’s Vineyards grows the plumpest of I’ve seen and the most delicious I’ve tasted.
Short Cuts: Growers are packaging their produce in more convenient ways. Love Beets makes the benefits of beets easier with its premium, cooked, infused fresh baby beets that are ready to eat without hassle.
It’s doesn’t get more natural than fresh. It’s exciting to see fresh catch up with the naturals industry by making nutritious produce more accessible and attainable. WF
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Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm. Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit www.trentandcompany.com.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online, Dec. 17, 2013