The Land Report

AG 2019

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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SH UT TERSTOCK Mushkin is the lead food trends researcher at Wolfe Research in New York, a firm that specializes in consumer trends. On the basis of his multiple stud- ies over 15 years, he has a reputation for spotting things early. "Retail food is my passion," he says. Here are the big food trends he high- lights now. Youngsters are the movers. "Millennials have come of age," he says. "eir changing food preferences are being heard." He uses eggs as an example. "ink how it's changed," he says. "It used to be that eggs were small, medium, or large. In grocery stores now, you can get cage- free, omega-3 enhanced, local produced, and others. e simple egg has been transformed to meet the trends of local, fresh, and healthy." H ealthy, fresh, local foods are not just for the young crowd. at's Scott Mushkin's bot- tom line about this growing movement to fresh, local, unprocessed, and health- ful food, and it's spelled out in consumer research he completed in the last year. "It's turning on its head the way we thought about food in the 1950s through the 1980s," he says. "Local and fresh is in; processed is out. at trend has spread throughout every age and income bracket in just the last two years." e only bracket where the trend doesn't fit, according to Mushkin's research, is the extreme lowest income, under $25,000 a year, he says. Ethnic choices are growing, too, he says. Twenty years ago, there was not the breadth of Hispanic, Italian, Korean, and other choices. "ese are very dynamic shifts," he says. "Our research says that it now tran- scends geography. e Midwest tends to trail the national trends, but not by much. e South has definitely caught up with the coasts when it comes to eating healthier. "It has become an obsession with lots of people of all age and income brack- ets. In fact, the most robust growth since 2013 comes from women who are outside the millennial generation," he says. e driving force, he speculates, is growing distrust of big business and gov- ernment. "People just want to go against them. at includes how they'll eat," he says. Social media plays a role, he contin- ues. "You can see stories everywhere in conservative or liberal media about something that causes cancer. at builds distrust, and it spreads. "We are living longer and we want to be healthier, and the secret is, at least partly, in what we eat. We know the sci- ence says that diseases like diabetes are avoidable if we would just eat healthier," he says. Mushkin admits to a fascination with the millennial generation. "e oldest are turning 35 this year," he says. "e aver- age age is still only about 25. eir peak is still over 10 years away," he says. His advice for farmers comes down to one word: transparency. "It's a hot-button issue. In our focus groups with young women, they want to know where their food comes from. e actual source. "e family farm still has great appeal with them. Now they want to know the story behind the food. If it's a family farm story, that's a very good thing," he says. — Gene Johnston Originally published in Successful Farming magazine. Used with permission of Meredith Corporation © 2019. TRENDS SCOTT MUSHKIN WOLFE RESEARCH 38 L ANDREP ORT.COM e LandReport | AGRICULTURE 20 19

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