Top 4 Food Trends, Austin Style

If you saw my previous blog post, you’ll know I spent the majority of last week enjoying the food, sun and most of all Whole Foods Market in Austin, TX. PR professionals from across the country gathered around breakfast tacos on behalf of Whole Foods Market to share best practices, company updates, and learn from some of the best minds in the industry, including a panel discussion with Max Goldberg of Living Maxwell and Alison Roman from Bon Appetit Magazine.

I learned a lot about PR, a lot about Whole Foods Market, and even more about food. To shed some light on my experience while visiting the Whole Foods Market headquarters, here are my top 4 takeaways on some of the latest food trends:

1. Teff is the new black.  It wasn’t too long ago that I didn’t even know what teff was. But, this nutrient-packed seed is quickly becoming all the rage as consumers look for new ways to add texture to their food. According to both Max and Alison, we’ll be seeing a lot more of teff in the months to come.

2. Paleo is prolific. Roughly 1 out of 10 people stick to a paleo diet. For those in the food industry, that means a greater focus on grass-fed and/or specialized menus appealing to this audience will be vital in attracting consumers.

3. It’s about the whole plant. Sections of fruit and vegetables that used to be instantly discarded, such as melon seeds, are now being saved and used for other recipes. Finding unique ways to consume the whole plant has turned into a delicious and creative outlet. Check out this Melon Seed Agua Fresca recipe from Whole Foods Market for example.

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(Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market)

4. Austin has amazing food. Okay, so maybe this trend is a little less scientific. But, it’s based on my research from eating at some pretty amazing restaurants during my trip. To top the list of favorites was The Winflo Osteria. We sampled melt-in-your-mouth cheeses, learned how to make our own tonic, and drooled over flourless chocolate tortes. Check them out at @Winfloaustin.

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After a successful trip, I’m more impressed with Whole Foods Market than ever – with the bright minds behind the business, the company’s mission and values, and how they are leading the industry in so many ways. Looking forward to uncovering more food and PR trends to come!