Who can forget the scene in the beloved film “When Harry Met Sally” when Meg Ryan’s character provided an elaborate description of how she wanted her food served:
Sally: “I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of the can, then nothing.”
Waitress: “Not even the pie?”
Sally: “No, just the pie, but then not heated.”
In today’s parlance, Sally Albright was a “foodie.” She had a particular interest in food and, as she stated, “I just want it the way I want it.”
These days, our interest in food is more prevalent than ever. From the widely touted virtues of kale to organically grown produce to farm-to-table dining, people seem more interested in the origins of their cuisine. Thanks to social media, food bloggers and the ability to Google just about any recipe, we are gleaning new information all the time. Furthermore, thanks to the global economy, we can enjoy strawberries in winter and tomatoes year round.
Why not let your foodie flag fly? Explore new foods not just for health reasons but also to expand your knowledge and experiences. One way to get more engaged is to find other food lovers in your area through foodie forums, events and groups that convene to try out new restaurants and bars.
The Business of Food
When we visit a supermarket, it appears there are hundreds or even thousands of different brands of products. But here’s something you may not know: Nearly every large food and beverage brand in the world is owned by one of just 10 different companies. The 10 most dominant food companies in the world are Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Associated British Foods and Mondelez.1
That’s it. Ten. So if you love Perrier sparkling water so much that you’d like to invest in the company, you’ll actually be investing in Nestlé. Its brands also include Gerber baby food, DiGiorno pizza and Butterfinger candy.2
However, rather than direct investment, a foodie investor might consider a specialty food and beverage exchange traded fund (ETF). There are broad industry ETFs, or you can drill down to a certain type of product, such as a coffee ETF or a soybean ETF.3
Then again, food is such big business that it is no longer relegated to traditional grocery stores — even online giant Amazon has entered the food business. With the company’s purchase of Whole Foods, market analysts are speculating about how Amazon might bust open a whole new channel for food distribution. They point out that Amazon outshines even Google for online shopping searches — 30 percent of shoppers start their search on Amazon, compared to only 13 percent at Google.4
Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute project that within just four years, 70 percent of shoppers will buy groceries online at least occasionally. Moreover, online food purchases are expected to reach $100 billion by 2022.5 Presently, brick-and-mortar retailers are trying out new business models to compete with this new trend. For example, independent grocers in large metropolitan areas have considered launching subscription programs for shoppers who order groceries online for pickup. They would charge a nominal monthly fee in exchange for a 5 or 10 percent discount on groceries purchased this way.6
Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. This information is not intended to provide investment advice.
1 Kate Taylor. Business Insider. Sept. 28, 2016. “These 10 companies control everything you buy.” http://www.businessinsider.com/10-companies-control-the-food-industry-2016-9. Accessed April 16, 2018.
3 Mark Kennedy. The Balance. Jan. 24, 2018. “Invest in the Food Industry with Food and Beverage ETFs.” https://www.thebalance.com/invest-in-the-food-industry-with-food-and-beverage-etfs-1215181. Accessed April 16, 2018.
4 Jake Rheude. Entrepreneur. April 12, 2018. “How the Amazon Whole Foods Acquisition Will Disrupt Food Marketing.” https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310959. Accessed April 16, 2018.
5 Emma Liem. FoodDive.com. April 16, 2018. “E-commerce grocery platform launches ‘Amazon prime for independents.’” https://www.fooddive.com/news/grocery–e-commerce-grocery-platform-launches-amazon-prime-for-independents/521342/. Accessed April 16, 2018.
Antioxidants: Too Much of a Good Thing?
Antioxidants are molecules that can prevent or reduce cell damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation. Some antioxidants are naturally produced in the body and occur naturally in foods. Synthetic antioxidants can be added to foods that don’t normally contain them.1
However, recent research has found antioxidant supplements may contain higher concentration levels that can be detrimental to health by:2
- Increasing oxidation
- Protecting dangerous (cancerous) cells
- Causingnausea and headaches
It is recommended that the safest way to consume antioxidants is by eating a healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs and nuts.3