A Foodies Christmas
Seemingly as popular as hot toy lists for the kiddies are the lists of hot foodies gifts for adults.
A quick Google search by RetailWire editors using the terms "holiday" and "foodie" found over 30 tailored lists suggesting gifts for "your favorite foodie" in consumer magazines as well as local newspapers.
An article in New York’s Daily News recommended an OXO "Be a Good Cookie" spatula, do-it-yourself paella kit, a beer-making kit, measuring cups shaped like goldfish and a gift certificate to De Gustibus Cooking School.
A similar article in The Boston Globe recommended: a gift basket from Dancing Deer Bakery, recently named America’s #1 tasting brownie; Bully Boy Booze, liquor brewed at a local distillery; and Boston Dining Cards featuring coupons to local restaurants. Epicurious.com’s list ranged from raw chocolate squares and premium olive oil to clever serving-ware and smartly-stacking measuring cups.
Bettyconfidential.com recommended The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, a grow-your-own-mushrooms kit and a Wolfgang Puck immersion blender.
It’s debatable when the foodie trend started and when it took off. Among retailers enmeshed in the trend, Williams-Sonoma opened its first in San Francisco way back in 1956, selling a small array of cookware imported from France. The first Trader Joe’s opened in 1967 in Pasadena.
In 1978, college dropout John Mackey opened his first natural foods store in Austin — called SaferWay as a spoof on Safeway — before opening the original Whole Foods Market in the city in 1980.
Certainly supporting the foodie movement was the debut of The Food Network in 1993 that provided a stage for celebrity chefs. Also fueling the movement was the health & wellness trend as well as digital life, which Laura Fiorilli-Crews, a writer for South Carolina Now, recently said has led in recent years to a "gravitation toward sensory experience."
As with any popular trend, foodies now have a growing crop of critics. To some, an intensifying locavore movement, the rollout of food trucks across even small cities, and celebrity chefs seemingly everywhere are signs of a foodie culture going overboard. Other fans see those extremes as signs of momentum.
USA Today recently did a piece on how scores of celebrity chefs are opening restaurants and making personal appearances on cruise ships.
"Forty years ago mothers wanted their daughter to marry a lawyer or a doctor, certainly not a cook. Now we are geniuses," Jacques Pépin, a French chef who has a PBS cooking show, told USA Today. "You used to go to a restaurant before theater. Now the restaurant itself has become the theater."
- Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Presents for your favorite foodie – The Daily News
- Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies – The Boston Globe
- Great Gifts For Foodies – epicurious.com
- 10 Great Gifts for Foodies: Holiday 2011 – bettyconfidential.com
- Our History – Whole Foods Market
- About Williams-Sonoma – Williams-Sonoma
- Find just the right gift for the gadget-obsessed on your list – South Carolina Now
- Locavore, shmocavore–a roundup of the new foodie backlash – Toronto Life
- Cruise ships woo foodies with celebrity chefs – USA Today
Discussion Questions: Do you see the foodie movement becoming more mainstream in the years ahead? What factors may drive or slow the trend? How will it play out in mainstream food stores?