While flying to Denver recently, I met Nick Davis, Regional Executive Chef for Whole Foods out of Colorado. He handles Whole Foods cuisine for a large portion of the West. Nick has been a champion for innovative offerings based on street foods, and has been approving new products and developing recipes based on the successes of street food. In my experience, the street is where some of the heartiest and most economical food can be found, and Nick agrees. In Mexico, for example, it’s hard to beat the street for flavor and value, with marvelous Oaxaca-style tamales being among my favorites. Street food can be fabulous in the States as well. CrÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e in San Francisco is a popular street food, for example, that Whole Foods is bringing to some California stores. Several Whole Foods locations such as the Trolley Square Whole Foods in Salt Lake City are offering “street eats” as a restaurant-style service in the store as well as street food packages you can take out. Nick has been working on the menus for these products. Kudos to Nick and all the innovators at Whole Foods for recognizing the need to bring the street into the store. One more example of innovation based on understanding consumers and trends.
Whole Foods is a great place to go for market research in addition to enjoyable, quality food and other products. One can learn a lot about green packaging trends, innovations in flexible pouches, self-care products, organics, ingredients, and international cuisine.