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    Shifting From Food Fads to a Food Repertoire

    Consumers are moving beyond just hot ingredients.

    BELLEVUE, Wash. — Fads come and go, but pulling back the curtain and examining the reasons behind fads can point the way to the future.

    Food fads are no different, according to a new report by The Hartman Group Inc. The Bellevue-based research firm points to bacon as a prime example of this. 

    "There's a fad that keeps on giving: bacon doughnuts, bacon dust on fries, bacon deodorant. The joke ended years ago, but people keep telling it because it taps a rich cultural vein that goes beyond a love of salt and fat. It involves experimentation and exploration and a fascination with discovering unique ways to combine food (and apparently hygiene products)," The Hartman Group noted in its recent newsletter, pointing out that kale, quinoa and kombucha serve as other examples. 

    More and more, however, consumers today are moving past food fads and instead developing an all-around embrace of food, according to The Hartman Group.

    "American consumers appear to be moving beyond their food culture adolescence and gaining a sophisticated and complicated food repertoire. Rather than getting hung up on certain fads, people are experiencing the whole enchilada — and they love it," the research firm explained. 

    As consumers' views on food expand, they're also merging with other aspects of culture including health and wellness, which no longer is relegated to a corner of the local health-food store.

    "Consumers are giving up on simply counting calories or cholesterol or sodium intake, and are embracing holistic approaches to health and eating that naturally encompass these elements. They want fresh, whole foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients — including full fats, sugar and other sweeteners in the right proportions," the firm stated. 

    Consumers, too, are taking notice of how their personal food choices affect local farmers, the environment and farm animals. There's been a marked increase in consumer concerns about how animals are treated, according to The Hartman Group.

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