The New Food Movement in Our Region and Beyond

Philly Farm & Food Fest
The fifth Philly Farm & Food Fest was held on April 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. In addition to 150 over exhibitors, everything from CSAs (community shared agriculture cooperatives) to chocolate makers, there was also a new demonstration (PF3) kitchen featuring restaurants, two butcheries (pig and lamb), and a sausage maker.


The Philly Farm & Food Fest is perhaps the ultimate food crossroads of our region, bringing together farmers, artisans, chefs, bakers, butchers, beer and other libation makers, and many others. A rare combination of urban, suburban, and rural, this event is superb evidence of our region’s vast food production and culinary richness.

Philadelphia farmers’ markets, like the Market at the Fareway in Chestnut Hill, are the year-round versions of Philly Farm & Food Fest, offering a delicious slice of our region’s bounty across all seasons. So there’s no need to wait for this annual event to sample the great food produced by our farmers, artisans, and restauranteurs. For more information please visit Vendors, Rancks-deli, Tokyo-sushi and Sundeez.

Most of us probably take it for granted, but the Philadelphia region is a leader in the new food movement. This movement is inspired by the desire to eat locally, as well as consume natural and organic products. It supports sustainable agriculture alongside sustainable food delivery like farmers’ markets, CSAs, and restaurants. The new food movement is expanding across the country as more people appreciate its goals and have access to healthy, sustainable products.

Natural Products Expo West
Evidence of the new food movement was abundantly displayed at the recent Natural Products Expo West & Engredea, a huge natural, organic, and healthy products gathering held at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year, during its five-day run in March, it had more than 3,000 exhibitors and was attended by more than 77,000 people.

The Natural Products Expo West is a great source for food trends. Among the trends that stood out were:

  • “Back to nature”: products with whole nutrient-dense ingredients and limited processing.
  • Total transparency: products whose ingredient and sourcing practices, as well as manufacturing methods, are clearly indicated.
  • Snackification: the rising demand for healthy snacks for a society always on the move.

There is an east coast version of the Natural Products Expo this September at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The growth of the new food movement is remarkable, as we witnessed at the Philly Farm and Food Fest, and as many of us experience regularly at farmers’ markets across the region. It is a national trend, apparent in the growth of the natural products industry. The forecast for domestic consumer sales of natural, organic and healthy products is a continued expansion at nine percent annually, with total sales rising from $153 billion in 2013 to $252 billion by 2019.

New Hope Network