Fermented foods are the No. 1 superfood of 2018, according to a poll of U.S. dietitians. “The rising popularity of fermented foods demonstrates how consumers have expanded their definition of wellness to include improved gut health, which is a benefit of consuming fermented foods,” according to Food Business News. The article highlighted numerous chefs experimenting with fermented ingredients, and fermented food producers who share the health benefits of eating fermented products. These food industry experts point out that consumers today are looking for a twist on classic dishes, and fermented foods add bold flavors. Like pairing pickled veggies with tacos, adding fermented Brussels sprouts on a tapas plate and brining French fries in a salt and cabbage solution.

Read more (Food Business News) (Photo: Cultured Love)

The Fermentation Association (TFA), getting more people to enjoy fermented products. Join us at http://ow.ly/dfN030mfgBY .

Business advice from the No. 2 pickle brand in the nation: hire the right high-level people, use creative marketing and sell a fresh product rather than one packed with preservatives. Grillo’s Pickles owner Travis Grillo talked with Yahoo Finance about growing his business from humble beginnings as a pickle street cart in Boston to a brand now sold in Whole Foods and Target, netting $25 million in sales a year. Travis said some of the most well-known pickle brands are made with chemicals for a long shelf life. But Grillo’s is made fresh with an all-natural, fourth-generation family recipe.

Read more (Yahoo Finance) (Photo: Grillo’s Pickles)

The latest special edition of TIME magazine featured a familiar cover star: beer. In “The Story of the World’s Most Celebrated Drink,” TIME attributes the drink’s popularity largely to a social factor. People like to drink beer in social settings – it has far less alcohol, it’s a staple at sporting events and people who frequent pubs have a wider social circle. And great news for local, craft brewers – today, beer drinkers prefer local breweries over bars. (TIME) https://goo.gl/ra98Bk

A kombucha entrepreneur made a major deal on the latest episode of “Shark Tank.” All the investor “sharks” wanted in on Kate Field’s at-home kombucha brewing kit. Two sharks offered Field $350,000 in exchange for 10 percent of her business, The Kombucha Shop. The kit sells for $45 and includes a reusable brew jar, a temperature gauge, test strips, brewing instructions and ingredients. (Inc.) (Photo from: The Kombucha Shop) https://goo.gl/4GjJhq .

The Fermentation Association (TFA), getting more people to enjoy fermented products. Join us at http://ow.ly/dfN030mfgBY .

Starting in January, cooks will be able to legally sell homemade food in California. The state passed a law decriminalizing the sale of homemade food in the state. This is exciting news for home fermenters who can now legally sell their home-cooked food without paying hefty licensing fees and adhering to strict food handler rules. The new law, though, still falls short. Earnings are limited to $50,000 a year, the kitchen must employ only one cook and a $500 license is still required. In the heavily—regulated state of California, though, the LA Times notes it’s a step in the right direction: “…reflecting bipartisan recognition of the ways that overzealous food regulation disproportionately hurts those at the very bottom of the state’s economic ladder, robbing them of opportunities to better their lot, undermining their self-reliance, and leaving them vulnerable to needless legal sanctions.”

Read more (LA Times)

Are brut IPAs a trend that will fade or a movement that will stick? Started in San Francisco, brut IPAs are a beer style that is dry, crisp and heavily carbonated like champagne. The unique flavor is thanks to the fermentation process, where an amyloglucosidase enzyme is used to “ferment sugars that wouldn’t break down with yeast alone, which leaves them totally dry,” according to the LA Times. Brewers and hopheads are excited about brut IPAs, leading to many breweries offering brut IPAs on their menu.

Read more (LA Times)

In an effort to attract more health-conscious diners, McDonald’s is removing artificial ingredients from its menu. Ironically, one item will remain the same: the pickle. Arguably the easiest item to remain naturally clean and fermented, McDonald’s will continue to use pickles with artificial preservatives. Their buns, cheese, sauce and patties will now no longer include artificial preservatives, flavors or coloring.

Read more (CNN Money) (Photo: McDonald’s)

Fermented milk from yogurt to kefir to buttermilk is spiking in popularity. It’s estimated to grow 3.7% CAGR from 2017 to 2023, thanks to its long shelf-life, easy digestion and antioxidants.

The Fermentation Association (TFA), getting more people to enjoy fermented products. Join us at The Fermentation Association.