The cupcake bubble has burst, or so say dropping stock prices for gourmet bakery Crumbs, which fell from $13 a share in 2011 to under $1.50 this year. The decline in cupcake popularity may be a reflection of changing taste – in recent years fad foods have come and gone. Are morphing American appetites a sign of moral and ethical shifts?
Trends towards local, organic, and sustainable foods have made things like raw, cold pressed juice immensely popular. Other fad foods – gourmet coffee, bacon, grilled cheese, ice cream sandwiches – have become increasingly sought after. Health fads have introduced coconut water, acai berries, and kombucha to wider audiences, and childhood favorites and traditional cultural foods have been revived and reappropriated with creative, whimsical touches.
American chefs are ushering in an era of ever-changing menus, pop-up shops, and roving restaurants on wheels, how are tastes adjusting to trend? Why do we eat the things we eat? What drives food culture? What will replace the craft cupcake?
Allison Carruth, author of “Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food” (Cambridge University Press), assistant professor in English at UCLA and faculty member at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Institute for Society and Genetics