Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Red Bull, McDs, and fine chocolate..whew!

The 50 or so food writers here in Dallas for the Pillsbury BakeOff have attended a full day of seminars to help us with future stories as the 100 finalists arrive. Author Ron Rentel introduced us to some of the consumer types driving today's market trends, including food, and distributed copies of his book. He surveys thousands of consumers to better pinpoint market niches and has come up with protypes we all know. They include the Middlemen, the single college educated young men usually between 21 and 35 who still live at home with their parents. This group is a global phenomenon of the past decade that has had a huge impact. Middlemen have propelled Fantasy Football into a $600 million a year industry and have helped video gaming surpass TV. They've inspired beer brands, Red Bull and bars. "After all they have to hang out somewhere besides home," he said. The group is responsible for 70 percent of McDonald's sales. His book, "Karma Queens, Geek Gods & Innpreneurs: Meet the Nine Consumer Types Shaping Today's Marketplace" is based on thousands of hours of research conducted by his Consumer Eyes company. We then had a chocolate tasting led by John Scharffenberger, who told us about the percentages of cacoa in chocolate bars and what they mean. His Scharffen Berger Chocolate Co. in San Francisco is two words to differentiate it from his Scharffenberger Champagne Co. Since I recently did a News-Herald cover story on the chocolate exhibit at the Great Lakes Science Center, I thought I knew the subject well. But I learned a lot, including that the Swiss developed milk chocolate as a way to use their milk, keep it from spoiling and easily ship it. There was lots more - all of which has been captured in my notes, so if you are a regular reader of Wednesday Food you'll be reading more about these subjects soon.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home