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Let's set the scene...
Retailers, for many years, were the trendsetters and tastemakers for consumers, telling them what they needed to buy and when they needed to buy it. Trends would cascade down through retail chains to consumers for multiple categories, such as food, clothing, technology and others. Think about it this way: When consumers walked into retail locations, anything deemed noteworthy by retailers would be merchandised most prominently, indicating to consumers that those products were important and worth purchasing.
What was the outcome of this trend, besides word of mouth and views? From a grocery sector perspective, demand for feta cheese skyrocketed. Not just for all feta cheese, but the singular block. According to an article published in the New York Times later in February 2021, citing grocer Harris Teeter, demand for feta cheese jumped up 200%. With unsustainable demand for a fresh product like feta, many retailers who sell groceries quickly found themselves out of stock by March 2021.
On the other hand, with a specialty fresh grocery item, it isn’t necessarily wise to try and order extra through the supply chain to meet the crushing demand. The media frenzy around this trend also highlights the power and reach of the platform and its trends. These viral sensations move far beyond the phone screen and into popular culture at lightning speed.
For consumers, jumping on the bandwagon of this trend allows them to be part of the social conversation. Making and eating the dish creates a bond and sense of belonging with others, and creating new variations off of the original recipe continues the conversation long after the initial trend fades.