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Sitting in Delta’s Business Lounge waiting for my flight from New Orleans to London Heathrow, I was  flicking through the family and lifestyle magazines displayed. Sad sack? Get a life? No, it’s a great way to keep up with emerging consumer trends, and what’s hot and what’s not. Martha Stewart’s “Living” magazine is a case in point. Remember, Martha? An entrepreneurial dynamo who had a leisurely few months at the expense of the American taxpayer for indiscretions relating to share dealings. Her October magazine edition is brimming over with Halloween ideas (“125 smart, sweet and spooky ways to celebrate the season”). My particular favourite was the 8 foot tall and 15 foot long inflatable “Grim Reaper” sitting on a horse-drawn cart loaded with a huge pumpkin -inflates in minutes and requires four AA batteries (not included!).  Martha’s got a “farm” in Massachusetts with rare breed chickens,  turkeys, geese, a mini-flock of Welsh Black Mountain sheep and a donkey or two. Milk cows are on her list.

What did I notice?:

  • The moustache theme of generic milk advertisements is used on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean – milk is synonymous with fitness and health. Mind you, milk doesn’t just come from a cow. Soy milk, you say? Sure, but there’s also almond milk – “For 120 calories, Silk PureAlmond dark chocolate milk provides the decadence you want plus 50% more calcium than milk, zero saturated fat and zero cholesterol”;
  • The functional food sector in Europe is seeing growth stall, not least because of EU regulations constraining almost all health claims. Not so in the USA – “Keep your joints happy with JointJuice”, a blueberry and açai juice concoction that promises happy knees when taking the stairs;
  • There is a clear trend for ingredient simplicity and purity across many regions of the world. The advertisement for Nature’s Pride 100% Natural 100% Delicious bread cleverly advises us that “No one ever says “Mmm, sodium stearoyl lactylate” – At Nature’s Pride, we don’t think you should put anything in your mouth you can’t pronounce”!

There’s lots more and Martha is tipping Tuscan Kale as the next brassica to boom. Mind you, brassicas need a boost in the US and the UK for that matter ever since George Bush Senior advised the American nation that he “didn’t have to eat broccoli any more now I’m President of the United States of America”!

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