Before kale was kale, it primarily functioned as a decorative accent on the Pizza Hut salad bar. But that was before everyone learned of its antioxidant benefits, when people starting writing kale cookbooks and farm production of kale rose 60% between 2007-2012 to meet demand for the leafy green.
Kale is not an anomaly in the produce section, as every once in a while a fruit or vegetable will capture the attention of the American public at large, and interest in it will skyrocket. We spoke to two analysts who study food trends in America to help figure out the next fruits and veggies you’ll be obsessed with.
It used to be that chefs would solely dictate the food trends. That’s not the case anymore, according to Melissa Abbott, vice president of culinary insights for The Hartman Group. “The best way to understand where trends are coming from is looking toward the progressive consumer, the one who is proselytizing about anything and everything,” Abbott said. “I don’t call them foodies ― they’re culinary obsessives. We spend a lot of time with them, and the chefs that are really pushing the envelope. We’ll look at their menus, look at their pantries and fridges.”
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