Paleo: A fad, a trend, or the start of a new food movement?
In general, said Mitchell, who spoke to us after delivering a presentation at the show, food trends are moving much more rapidly from the niche to mainstream, and ideas that begin in a food truck, juice bar or a farmer's market can spread like wildfire in the age of instagram.
Meanwhile, many brands that begin in the natural retail channel can build a mass market presence in record time.
This change of pace is partly due to social media, more travel, and multiculturalism, but also driven by the commercial reality that natural & organic food brands are doing better than their ‘legacy brand’ counterparts and big retailers want a slice of the action, he told delegates at the show.
To keep up with trends, Mitchell and his team like to stay "curious" and get "a bit uncomfortable," by visiting new food stores, food trucks, markets, restaurants, food festivals, trade shows and bars to try and stay ahead of the curve.
“I like to look at trends like a Seurat painting, finding the interesting little dots that make up a whole movement,” he said. “I think we spend more time in grocery stores looking at what’s on the shelf than anyone else.”
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Our Paleo ancestors were more active than us, but did they really have an optimal diet? (Picture: istockphoto antimartina)