Category Archives: food

Tiny trend

Tiny houses might have trouble complying with building codes, but tiny produce has settled in children’s brown bags.

From the baby Hass avocados at Trader Joe’s to the “kid friendly” labeled pears at Aldi, child-sized portions have moved beyond little carrots. Perfect for school lunch boxes, moms have embraced the fruit options while kids ask for campfire “small s’mores” as after school snacks (even in winter.)

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High-end vending

I always stop at one vending machine when walking through the airport terminal in St. Louis. Even during winter, I love to watch the creamy frozen confection twirl into cups at the Ted Drewes frozen custard stall.

The Ted Drewes vending machine, in the Southwest Airlines terminal, is my favorite example of the high-end grab-and-go products that are trending.

Luxury has become convenient.

After all, you can now purchase champagne, fresh oysters and even chia pudding cups from vending machines.

Zucchini noodles anyone? Check out the nearest machine.

Grocery list influencers

If you’ve grocery shopped recently with a tween or teen, you know these kids shop differently than we shopped at their age.

Knowledge is at their fingertips, so it you want to know the effect of adding Chicoree Angel Hair to your salad, just ask your young companion- he’ll have an answer in two clicks, as his phone is probably already on.

Of course, consider it a minor miracle if a tween or teen will even accompany you to a grocery store. They are major influencers of the shopping list, but typically avoid such boring shopping.

Cookie dough snitches

Cupcake shops be gone. Enter, cookie dough cafes.

Although children are known for snatching unbaked cookie dough, cookie dough cafes are removing the need for sneakiness. Safe-to-eat cookie dough has the nostalgic appeal of Saturday afternoons in the kitchen with mom.

Raw cookie dough ingredients include special eggs and flour which make it safe to eat without baking. Flavors, served in a cup or cone, include favorites like chocolate chip, red velvet, brownie batter, s’mores and fluffernutter.

Hungry, yet?

Screens and snacks

The kids who played outside after supper all summer frequently end up as video gamers in the dark of winter.

And of course, screen time leads to snacking. Gamers – especially Millennials who play alongside their children – look for snacks to keep them mentally sharp and focused. Favorites are quick, not messy and convenient to hold.

Time to go shopping.

Upselling

Even preschoolers are comfortable using the touch screen kiosks that have popped up at so many fast food locations, but don’t be surprised if the bill is higher than expected.

According to some data, we spend 15 to 20 percent more at a kiosk than when ordering from a person. The transaction is private, so no one is judging our menu choices. And, unlike a cashier who might forget to ask, “Do you want fries with that?” a kiosk always asks.

Smart machine.

Social media stars

Although many of us will bake holiday treats based on family favorites and traditional recipes, I wonder how many Christmas dishes will be made because they are “Instagram-ready?”

Junior chefs, the youngest foodies in our families, have embraced fancy baking and crazy desserts that look good online.

If the Christmas treats actually taste good, too, that’s a bonus.