Which Came 1st: Hipsters or the Small Batch Gourmet Trend?

Perhaps after the invention of Hamburger Helper and Watergate salad in the 1970s, it was inevitable that taste preferences would improve and ultimately morph into today’s food obsession with 24/7 cable TV shows featuring celebrity chefs, cooking challenges both haute cuisine and just plain silly, so-called food porn, and a $228M+ cookbook publishing niche.

Just as centuries ago Marco Polo traversed the Great Silk Road and shared his discoveries, among them an astounding array of rich spices, the invention of a little thing called the Internet helped make exotic, rare ingredients more accessible and in-demand. If content is king in marketing, exotic spices are king in the small batch gourmet trend. Think back even 5 years ago—had you heard of the flavor profile “salted caramel?” Nowadays, from Starbucks to rice cakes to ice cream and cookie dough, this salty/sweet combo is pleasing palates around the world.

Whether they are hand-crafted, unusual ice cream flavors like Humphrey Slocombe’s corn, foie, and even cheese flavors; or limited-edition, artisanal chocolate bars by Kansas City’s Christopher Elbow (shout out to my former hometown!); or small batch, “curated” collections of craft liquors (no doubt partially in response to the overwhelming popularity of craft brews), today’s trendy chefs and food bloggers seek out crazy unique flavor pairings to help their creations stand out from the crowd.

Everyone has to eat, right? Peruse any major retail cookware catalog from Sur La Table to World Market to Crate & Barrel and you’ll see the impact of small batch gourmet ingredients on their product offerings. Promising the hottest ingredients destined to take your meal preparation and entertaining to heretofore unachieved heights, they showcase cooking and serving on pink Himalayan sea salt slabs; Pumpkin spice-flavored everything; even lowly ramen noodles, previously the preferred sustenance of broke college kids everywhere, have been elevated to rock star status (just in case you were wondering, you can now actually bathe in ramen noodles in Japan!). Proving that eco-friendly trends can be big business, Williams Sonoma has a whole section of their website dedicated to “agrarian” pursuits like beekeeping and chicken coops!

Whether you are selling one-of-a-kind grinders with tri-colored peppercorns and sea salt to fill them, or any other gourmet treats via e-commerce, we can help save you time and money in fulfilling your orders. Contact us today to see how we can make worldwide fulfillment easy for you!