The Future of Food in an Evolving Food Ecosystem

The Future of Food in an Evolving Food Ecosystem

Our food ecosystem is evolving. More and more consumers are demanding high-quality ingredients, organically grown produce, humanely raised animal protein, sustainably and responsibly sourced food.   

For example, at the launch of the frozen foods company Hip Chick Farms, known for it’s 100% organic chicken nuggets, “the [consumer] demand was already there,” as the company’s co-founder and president, Serafina Palandech, puts it. “The demand in retail has grown phenomenally over the last four years and in opening our restaurant concept, which we call The Kitchen, you know, we have an incredibly sophisticated consumer. They know exactly what they are looking for and they know exactly what they want to feed their families. So, I really see that the demand was already there and we are filling that need.”

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What Do We Call Whole Foods Now? Affordable?

Amazon.com Inc. slashed prices at Whole Foods Market stores on Monday, with some items seeing cuts up to 43 percent.

Items like organic Fuji apples and organic rotisserie chicken were accompanied by orange signs showing the old price, the new price, and text reading “More to come...”

In total, over 400 items have seen price cuts.

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According to "Bloomberg," prices on whole trade organic bananas fell 30 percent, responsibly farmed tilapia fell 33 percent, and organic Fuji apples fell 43 percent. 

Since Amazon won the antitrust approval by the FTC last week, the e-commerce giant has made some big announcements about both of the the companies’ futures. 

Soon, Whole Foods’ healthy and high-quality private label products will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry, and Prime Now. Amazon lockers will be available in select Whole Foods Market stores where customers will be able to pick up products shipped from Amazon.com.

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In addition, Amazon Prime is becoming Whole Foods Market’s customer rewards program, meaning Prime members can expect special savings and other in-store benefits.

Stay tuned for more on this and other industry news from Foodable!
 

 
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Only Organic and Clean Ingredients at green2Go in California

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green2Go is a fast-casual concept started by two moms who were having a hard time finding healthy fast food that they felt was good enough to feed their children. After discussing their frustrations, Joulia Hantas-Kalah and Anita Allison decided they would open their own restaurant. Serving only clean, healthy ingredients, green2Go has created a loyal following in California.

What exactly is "clean" food? Anita explained what it means to them in just a few words: “Basically, it’s all natural.” Joulia added, "It’s real food! At the end of the day, we feel someone at some point has to draw that line, and that’s what we chose to do and how we opened in 2012.”

Joulia said some restaurants have tried to provide clean food, but they are often hindered by how difficult it can be to keep clean ingredients fresh because of their lack of preservatives. This leads those restaurants creating modified menus serving only the clean ingredients they are able to control. However, the green2Go duo didn’t want to change what people were eating. They simply wanted to make those dishes cleaner. So they took dishes like burgers, tacos, and rice bowls, and served them — just with better ingredients.

What do they use? Ingredients like antibiotic-free chicken, bread without high-fructose corn syrup, organic tomatoes, non-GMO corn tortillas, locally sourced blue cheese, and cage-free eggs. To keep their ingredients fresh, Joulia and Anita decided to invest in better storage.

“We’ve tried different things from getting lids that are always cracking, or plastic wrapping things as tight as you can get it, but still, it’s an imperfect world that we’ve created. But now we’ve saved about a 1.5 percent reduction in food costs just by being able to extend the shelf life of produce and not have as much waste,” Joulia said.

As restaurants start to turn towards serving better-for-you menus, Joulia and Anita are looking forward to the future.

“It makes us feel good because it makes our bottom line. It helps us afford our ingredients a little better now because the more people — supply and demand!” Joulia said.

Watch how this clean fast casual makes it all possible on this episode of "Fast Casual Nation."

Starbucks Reserve Makes a Big Impact on Local Coffee Communities

Starbucks Reserve Makes a Big Impact on Local Coffee Communities

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

From its signature espresso to the seasonal obsession that is a Pumpkin Spice Latte, Starbucks certainly knows the way to a coffee lover's heart. With 24,000 locations worldwide, the chances of finding a Starbucks just in time to satisfy your need for a morning brew is, well, pretty good, no matter where you are. 

But as we’ve seen in other industries like craft beer, hipsters are foregoing their daily run-of-the-mill for stuff that’s custom roasted, single sourced, and overall high in quality.

“You don’t just ask the server if the roast is dark or medium. You ask, ‘What farm did it come from?’” says Sumner Ohye, owner of the Curb, a tiny coffee shop  in Kaimuki, Hawaii.

They’re calling it the “third wave” of coffee and it’s the trend that’s responsible for the ever-growing number of local, independent coffee shops popping over all over the country and putting Starbucks into the category of, dare we say, basic. Couple that with chains like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts stepping up their own coffee game, and Starbucks is suddenly searching for a different way to make themselves stand out

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