The Cupcake Bubble is Bursting

I walked through Georgetown this weekend with my mom and son. The weather was beautiful, Wisconsin and M Street were packed. Just as we hit the home stretch, readying ourselves to hang a left to cross Key Bridge, the sidewalk went from full to mobbed. Where were we? Georgetown Cupcakes.

While I love a cupcake (good or bad), I never fully understood the cupcake craze. I lived in NYC from 2007 to 2009, right when cupcake joints started to sprout from everywhere. Crumbs were opening up like Starbucks. As I weaved through the crowd on Sunday and contemplated the out-the-door line I saw each time I passed Georgetown Cupcakes, I wondered when this craze would settle. Or, would the simple, warm fuzzy cupcake mean cupcake shops would be forever popular?

Well, if today’s Wall Street Journalarticle has it right, the novelty is wearing off: Forget Gold, the Gourmet-Cupcake Market Is Crashing.

17 April 2013 ·

Whole Foods CEO: Organic Food Is Worth It

Was waiting for a stronger reaction from from organic food proponents:

On the heels of a Stanford University study that found little evidence supporting the claim that organic food was healthier, Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb is defending the decision to eat organic.

19 September 2012 ·

Doritos Locos Tacos Improved Perception Of Taco Bell And Doritos, Study Shows

HuffPost Food, 4/11/12

11 April 2012 ·

Cool Ways Restaurants Are Using Instagram

I’ve seen a ton about food and packaged goods companies using Pinterest to their advantage, but not so much from restaurants. This is a good article from Nation’s Restaurant News featuring best practices on how restaurants are successfully using Instagram to drive business and conversation:

"How to make the most of Instagram: Mama Fu’s, Pinkberry, Ava Kitchen & Whiskey Bar offer best practices around the image-sharing platform"

A few smart tactics:

Remember search: Tagging photos with hashtags makes your posts searchable. “Make sure your tags are relevant to your post, and always post them to Twitter as well,” Barrett said. Keep the description of your photo short and concise. Also remember to not over post.

and

Create contests: “Ask your community to tag your brand photos in Instagram and then integrate them into other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter [and] even your website,” she said. “We love user generated content and often use Instagram photos on Facebook as the ‘Instagram photo of the week.’ We like to celebrate the community and recognize their efforts.”

11 April 2012 ·

Food Marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest has become the fastest growing website ever, now with nearly 12 million monthly users. The site illustrates the evolution from the “social graph” to the “interest graph” – or the shift from friend-based networks to those that connect people based on their shared interests.

Food is one of the major niches or shared interests on Pinterest. In fact, food lovers were among the first on Pinterest; they saw the benefits of pinning instead of clipping recipes. These foodies used boards to plan dinner parties, collect holiday baking ideas, and create their own virtual cookbooks.

Not surprisingly, food bloggers have also become Pinterest power users. The Food and Drink category has become one of the largest and most active in terms of pins and repins.

15 March 2012 ·

About

While you often hope for work and personal interest to overlap, I began to think that it was little like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ellusive. That is why I was excited to stumble on a topic, through working with one of my clients, that I wanted to learn more about, not only to better serve my client but for my own edification.

I began this blog with a broader focus on health engagement but, over time, I found myself most interested in happenings within the food industry. With so much going on surrounding food--from food safety to nutrition policy to digital food strategies--there is more than enough to discuss!

I'm Kara Taylor: a marketer, a communicator, a researcher. This is a place for me to capture some of the trends, programs, and policies that I find most interesting related to the Business of Food.