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The Rise of the Avocado (and other #instafamous foods)

Happy 7th of December guys! Something food related for you today. Something that I have found really interesting is how certain foods have become ‘trendy’. Restaurants have been a hit with Instagrammers and suddenly the once pretty unheard of avocado sits on the #instafamous food throne, surrounded by his good friends, coconut oil, donuts, freak shakes, smoothie bowls and ice cream that looks like cute, little flowers… I could go on, but I won’t. I went to Wagamamas for the first time a few years back, solely because I wanted to ‘instagram’ my food. I kind of wanted to explore this a little bit. How can we explain the rise of the avocado? 

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Follow my Instagram for more cliched pictures of my brunch.

The other day I ordered two tops saying ‘Let’s Avo-cuddle’, I didn’t want to admit it but I had become that person. I wanted tops with avocados on, a phone case with donuts, anything covered it peaches to represent my struggle for the sought after peachy bum. I am a total sucker for it. But why? Why all of a sudden am I stressing my #yokeporn and avo won’t quite look aesthetic enough. Apparently you can even get the infamous Avo-toast in McDonalds.

Now, Avocados have a load of health benefits that I’m sure you don’t need me to go into in great detail (you’ve all seen the ‘good fat’ meme, let’s be honest…). But there are loads of foods out there that are good for you that haven’t had their big break. It partly comes down to taste. Supermarkets have sussed when their avocados are at their best. Like bananas, avocados are better when they’re a little soft, hence the ‘ripe and ready’ packs you can now pick up from your local supermarket. But, let’s be honest, this really isn’t enough to cause the stir it has done. I’m not going to insta my banana because it’s looking pretty darn ripe and ready. In reality, it comes down to a lot of very clever marketing and the neoliberal consumer culture that we live in today. Just like Nandos, which everyone went bloody crazy for, the avocado has faced a marketing overhaul. The rise of the lifestyle blogger and coffee shop/brunch culture has aided it on it’s journey to the top. Journalists when off to South Africa and the Avocado became an ‘all year rounder’. What with this and the massive talk about all the health benefits, it’s really no wonder people started putting it in their trolleys. There has also been a huge change in the way we perceive fat. Fats are no longer the enemy and we are now more aware of the important role it plays in our diet (thanks to clever marketing, of course, but important none the less), and so the avocado has become a whole lot more appealing. Social media has also seen vegans and those who live off plant based diets step into the limelight. Even I have been influenced by this lifestyle and changed my eating habits thanks to it. A lot of these recipes rave about the avocado, it goes in puddings, breakfasts, dinner, tea, desserts. Anything you can think of!

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Seriously, go and follow me. I need to beat this algorithm and I promise it’s not all avocados. 

It’s true, avocados are good for us but balance is key. I love avocados, but chucking an avocado, kale and coconut oil into every smoothie I have is not exactly going to be good for me. It’s like peanut butter. I’m allergic to peanut butter so I don’t have this problem but everyone is drizzling peanut butter over this and spreading it over that. Peanut butter is another food product that has seen some clever marketing strategies. But it’s all about moderation. These things are good for you. I bloody love an avocado (although a lot of this is almost definitely down to what I have been told I should love as a wellness blogger) but you can get too much of a good thing and a calorie surplus is a calorie surplus, however you get it.

The rise of popularity of the avocado means that demand is becoming far greater than the supply and the avocado industry is struggling. This means prices will rise, which might mean the avocado has to avocaGO (I’m sorry, please don’t judge me). But what will come next? Social media is relentless. There are more and more lifestyle bloggers sharing their fantastic posts about their life and inevitably creating new #foodgoals.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about how they in fact don’t like avocados or pumpkin spiced lattes, or fitness bloggers who don’t drink monster (I’m talking about me with this last one…) so will we soon see another food take the avocados place in some sort of game of throne-esque show down? Who knows? But what I do know is this, whichever food it is, there is a marketing team out there somewhere ready to hit us with health benefits, pamphlets and instagram posts on a clean white backdrop. Let’s just hope it’s not the sprout… 

Jamie x 

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