March of the Pomegranates

May 27, 2008 at 7:10 pm Leave a comment

While we’ve been eating pomegranates since Persephone‘s time in Ancient Greece, the fruit has been relatively absent from the contemporary American diet — a mere 5% of Americans had tasted one in 2002. Six years later, the pomegranate craze is officially in full swing.

How has this ancient fruit suddenly become one of America’s hottest ingredients? We think it’s thanks to the eerily successful marketing genius of POM Wonderful, documented recently in a fascinating New Yorker article. But beyond juice, it seems that the warming of American palates and minds to the concept pomegranates has had a huge ripple effect, opening the floodgates for products across multiple categories. At last scan, we’ve seen it pop up in everything from vodka to gum, and Sephora’s aisles are packed with pomegranate enhanced products from Murad, Philosophy, Fresh and Korres to name a few.

What’s next? That depends partly on science, and partly on where marketing dollars get spent. Goji berries are the “antioxidant du jour,” but my eye is on a fruit I grew up eating, the delicious (and beautiful!) mangosteen. It also boasts superfruit qualities, and has begun to hit the shelves since the ban in the US (over fruit fly concerns) was lifted last year. –Kat

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Entry filed under: Business, Food, Whole Health. Tags: .

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