Canning and pickling are a growing cultural trend with significant growth over the past few years.
In addition to traditional at-home DIY activities, we're seeing an explosion of artisan jams and pickle purveyors during our visits to the Fancy Food Show. One only need to search online or meander down the condiment isle of your specialty grocery market to find as assortment of Rick's Picks (love the Smokra), Boat Street Pickles (can't beat the Red Onions) or Happy Girl Kitchen (try the Romano beans).
Canning is feeding on a perpetual wave in trends that is rooted a reinterpretation of the idealized life and reclaiming of the past. Our fascination and exploration is rooted in economic and social intelligence:
- According to Michael Pollan interview with KUOW, Ball Jars canning company has experienced a lift in sales (+94%) due to an increased awareness of food savings. We attribute this shift in gardening and canning to an attempt in control household costs and desire to save (perhaps because many believe traditional banking has "failed").
- Last month, The New York Times and Time reported that "Unit sales for canning and freezing supplies like jars, bags and containers were up 11.5% during the eight weeks ending on Feb. 21, making them the second best-performing category on Nielsen's list."
- The community home canning project in San Francisco, Yes We Can, which cans fruits and vegetables from local farmers during their peak season, and then invites you to buy a share so you can enjoy delicious produce year round.
- Canning Across America - a nationwide, ad hoc collective of cooks, gardeners and food lovers committed to the revival of the lost art of “putting up” food launches later this month with community events and inspiration.
- A Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends project showed people are trending back to basics.
Photography by Viv / Seattle Bon Vivant