Food Trends in America – The Tastemakers Book


Photo credit: Brian Chan

A Great Book to Research Your Next Successful Product!

I recently read a fascinating book about recent food trends, titled: “The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue.”

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The book analyses many food trends of the past decades, from cupcakes to chia, bacon, fondue, seafood, new vegetables, fruits (like kiwi), kale, spicy sriracha sauce, Honeycrisp apples, and more. It goes to explain to the reader why those foods became so popular for a short or long time. It talks about small indulgences and healthy foods, about the way vegetables or fish species can be discovered and named to make them more renown (e.g., Chilean seabass)! It also takes us to the back-stage of the Specialty Food Association and its prestigious SOFI awards, sharing the story of a local Vermont company called Big Picture Farm, who won the top award for its goat caramels a few years ago.

One thing the book made me realize is how crucial the New York City scene is to food entrepreneurs’ success. The reason is simple: most food editors live there! I was again reminded of that fact when I read “Ten Restaurants That Changed America,” in which most of the featured restaurants were NYC restaurants!

One final thought from the book: I am now curious about the real impact that a top SOFI award can have on the revenues and growth of a company. I have seen Big Picture Farm’s goat caramels in retail stores for a while now, and I love their packaging, but never had the impression that it was a booming company, yet they had won that prestigious award. I don’t think that I’ll ever get the chance to interview them, and they might not want to share insights, but it would be interesting.

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