By: Mike Montgomery
What we eat is changing dramatically. Grocery stores devote aisles to organic merchandise, farmers’ markets spill into the streets and restaurants list the producers that supply their menus. People have become suspicious of Big Food, a catchall term that has come to mean anything processed or fake.
There’s also a growing desire for transparency from consumers. People want to know what they’re putting in their bodies, which drives health and fitness entrepreneurs like Melissa Fox to launch their own companies in response. Fox’s M-Jo Life meal replacement products contain only plant-based, vegan and non-GMO ingredients. Products such as these are part of a group of food startups that have elevated recipes to a higher order, or what Fox calls “ingredient curation” lacking from many mass-marketed products.
Big Food is trying to keep up with the times. General Mills has vowed to remove all artificial colors and flavors from its cereals by 2017. McDonald’s is selling fewer sodas with its Happy Meals. And many big companies are just flat out buying health. General Mills spent $820 million to purchase Annie’s and Campbell’s spent $1.56 billion on Bolthouse Farms.