“The world’s oldest alcoholic beverage has suddenly become new again,” the New York Times writes of mead. The fermented honey drink (also known as honey wine) is featured in a new book “Mead: The Libations, Legends and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink.” According to the American Mead Makers Association, mead is more popular than craft beer, with a new meadery opening in the U.S. every seven days.

Read more (The New York Times)

Fermented food and drink products are the next big thing in the food industry. How does your product stand out in the marketplace? The Fermentation Association (TFA), getting more people to enjoy fermented products. Join us at fermentationassociation.org

Though more consumers want probiotics only 2 percent of new food and drinks launched in the last 12 months were marketed as containing probiotics. A study found its because of regulatory issues. Companies (especially in the dairy category) are uncertain whether or not they can legally label a product as containing probiotics. Labeling the food as fermented instead could aid a product’s natural and healthy image, the study concludes, since more consumers are viewing fermentation as an authentic natural food and beverage choice.

Read more (Nutritional Outlook)

Spontaneous fermentation is seeing a big surge among breweries. It’s a method beer, cider, wine and liquor makers should consider because spontaneous fermentation is a sign that the brewer is confident in their technique, willing to trust the uncontrolled aspects of the fermentation process and having fun, says Bon Appetit magazine. Also known as hands-off, natural or traditional fermentation, it’s the oldest form of fermentation, used before fermentation could be controlled and regulated.

Read more (Bon Appetit) 

Food venture centers are proving a valuable resource for fermented food startups. The Cornell Food Venture Center is helping aspiring food entrepreneurs in the Northeast with business development, product safety and commercialization. New York-based Perfectly Pickled Products (P3) shares their experience going from an idea to an agribusiness with the food venture center. They sell pickled eggs, sausage, beans and, of course, pickles. Many customers are drawn to the nostalgia, remembering eating these fermented favorites at their grandparents table.

Read more (Cornell Chronicle)