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The Crumb for June 16th, 2017

Lori Bailey / June 16th 2017

Dropped from a cone of Frankie & Jo’s salty caramel ash ice cream.


Happy Friday! Balance out that TGIF giddiness with a pitch-black snack, and settle into this past week’s food news.

Welcome to the Amazon

Breaking news: Whole Foods, which has been courting buyers to lift them out of their recent slump, just shook hands with Amazon over a $13.7 billion deal. This is a huge move that will push Amazon even further into the grocery category, giving the e-commerce giant access to hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores and opportunities to dig deeper into customer buying behaviors. As for the rest of the market, they’re still reeling—stocks in Wal-mart and Kroger took a nosedive after the announcement. TIme see what happens when Jeff Bezos takes his new grocery cart out for a spin.


Filipino food: so hot right now

Says the great Anthony Bourdain, so it must be true, right? According to the Parts Unknown host and food mega-celebrity, the stars are aligned for a full-on Filipino trend takeover. In the same way Korean flavors found connection points in tacos, barbecue, and mac-and-kimcheese, Bourdain believes Filipino food has what it takes to win the hearts (and stomachs) of a Western audience. Sophisticated flavors: check. Cross-cultural curiosity: check. A previously underrated, underestimated cuisine practically sitting on our doorstep: check and check. But is the rest of the world ready to welcome sisig, Bourdain’s favored post-drinking dish comprised of pig snout, jowl, ear, and tongue? Remains to be seen—perhaps after a couple of pints.


Minimize me

After years of sky-scraping burgers and pizzas that could double as kiddie pools, customers are now looking for something a little… smaller. In response to consumer feedback, some restaurants have begun to offer more petite portions. These exercises in moderation are geared to go a little easier on both waistlines and wallets. Sounds like a good idea, and it is—but even this cute world of miniature pretzels and bite-size cinnamon rolls has its hurdles to overcome. By adjusting prices and upselling add-ons, restaurants hope to maintain profit margins even when producing at a smaller scale. Half-size portions at a small upcharge might put off some patrons, but many guests are just happy to have a little indulgence at a fair price. Seems like small is the new big.


This sandwich is outta this world

Plenty of quick-service brands are scrambling to expand their franchises into new markets. Kentucky Fried Chicken, having already broken into every continent save Antarctica, has set somewhat loftier goals: namely, outer space. Seriously. As part of its most recent marketing stunt, KFC has teamed up with space flight company World View to send its Zinger chicken sandwich into the stratosphere. The launch is set for June 21st. Add "Extraterrestrial Chicken Sandwich Day" to the list of arbitrary food holidays.


Eat your words

Imagine a salad. Bet that was fun, wasn’t it? Okay, but what if it were a “little gem lettuce salad with crispy shallots, creamy sheep’s milk feta, and zingy citrus vinaigrette”? Now we’re talking, according to study from Stanford University. The research team re-labeled vegetable dishes using differently-worded descriptions to see how diners would respond. Out of the four approaches—straightforward names, healthy-but-restrictive, healthy-and-positive, and indulgent—subjects overwhelmingly chose indulgently-worded options. What’s more, creative labeling significantly increased vegetable consumption overall. Turns out seasoning your words with salt might actually work.

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