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USA Today reports that American vacationers are increasingly looking for “special” and “authentic” food-oriented vacations, which is creating new opportunities in the travel business.

“’Special’ and ‘authentic’ mean ascending on a crane to harvest olives, or making goat cheese, or creating a customized blend at a boutique winery that's usually closed to the public, or working with a beekeeper to collect honey from hives,” USA Today writes, with vacationers – admittedly, usually affluent vacationers – looking for hands-on experiences that will put them more in touch with where food and wine come from.

“In pockets of the country where artisanal food producers and winemakers thrive — most notably California, the Northwest and the Northeast — entrepreneurs occasionally stage winemaking ‘camps’ and shopping/cooking sessions to drum up interest in their professions and sell a little more of their products,” the paper writes. “But the latest trend is for those producers to partner with upscale lodgings, rental services and/or culinary concierges to offer customized experiences for the guests.”
KC's View:
Forget for a moment that the kinds of events being described in USA Today are fairly upscale with a specific demographic appeal. I think there is something else happening here, which is a trend toward appealing to people’s natural curiosity.

I only bring this up because sometimes I think food retailers underestimate the kinds of opportunities that may exist in this area of the business. Not that everybody wants to learn how to bake bread or filet fish or butcher meat…but it seems to me that this could become an interesting way to build community and to find out what people are interested in.

After all, you only find out where your borders are by pushing against them.