Whether you love the term or hate it, the "foodie" movement isn't showing any signs of waning—and that's a good thing, because food manufacturers and retailers are sitting up and paying attention to foodies, offering more healthful, local, organic or natural, and exotic food items in mainstream grocery stores.
According to an article in the February issue of Food Technology magazine, the line between specialty and mainstream foods continues to blur, ensuring that more consumers in more parts of the country will have access to "specialty" foods—which can include healthier options, local and organic products, and foreign ingredients and products.
According to Food Technology:
- Three-quarters (76 percent) of U.S. adults enjoy talking about new or interesting foods.
- Two-thirds (68 percent) of adults purchase specialty foods for everyday home meals. Chocolate, specialty oils, cheese, and yogurt/kefir are purchased by more than half of specialty food shoppers, and yogurt/kefir is the fastest growing sector.
- More than half (57 percent) of specialty food shoppers bought Italian specialty items in 2012 and 56 percent bought Mexican products.
- 42 percent of foodies count calories, more than twice the percentage of the general population.
What makes someone a foodie in the first place? According to an Experian Simmons consumer survey, 19.5 percent of the adult population in the US are true foodies: "characterized by their interest in trying new products and more intensive attitudes/behaviors about foreign, spicy, gourmet, and natural/organic food as well as their desire for fresh ingredients and upscale presentation."
In other words, if you're reading this article, you're probably a foodie. So wear the label proudly! Your shopping habits—whether you're buying organic foods, pasta from Italy, or patronizing your local farm-to-table restaurant—are influencing the food industry at large, meaning that people who didn't have the option to buy organic milk at their local grocery store just a few years ago, are able to find it now, or will be soon.
Source: Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (2013, February 13). 'Foodie' movement gains momentum. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213152124.htm