3 Reasons That Make Specialty Foods Special

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We’ve all heard the term “specialty foods.” But, have you ever wondered what sets them apart from “regular foods?”

While there is no standard definition, it appears that specialty foods are typically considered by consumers as “unique and high-value food items.” They often perceive them as having benefits which non-specialty foods don’t offer.

Specialty foods are known by other names such as artisanal, natural, and whole foods. Because of this potential ambiguity, people may be confused by the term.

However, there are three distinct criteria that differentiates these types of food items from the rest.

Reason #1

Specialty foods are made in small quantities. Small batch cooking offers numerous benefits:

  • Consistency in the taste, texture, and appearance
  • Better control
  • Allows for easier detection if something is off
  • Protects the quality & nutrition of plant-based foods
    • Prevents overcooking
    • Ensures that the food retains color & nutrients
  • No overproduction/waste

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Reason #2

Specialty foods are made from higher quality ingredients. The following criteria designate what that means:

  • Safe; free from impurities & contaminants
  • Source & origin of products and all its ingredients are known
  • Reliable tracking system in case of a recall
  • Produced in a sustainable & ethical manner
  • Animal origins – the animal was healthy, well-treated & fed with safe animal feed

Organic falls under the quality label. They are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, and ionizing radiation. If the food item is an animal or its by-products (meat, poultry, eggs & dairy) then no antibiotics or growth hormones are used.

 

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Reason #3

Specialty foods have a higher price tag due to the more expensive ingredients and labor involved. 

Health conscious consumers are willing to spend more to ensure their groceries don’t contain any questionable ingredients. 

Many people try to buy local as much as possible for the following reasons:

  • Flavor – locally grown crops are picked at the peak of ripeness and arrive in consumers hands much more quickly
  • Nutrients – harvest to table occurs more quickly thereby retaining more nutrients
  • Local economy – buying from neighboring farmers puts dollars back into the community
  • Benefits environment – helps maintain farmland and green, open spaces
  • Safer food supply – the less distance food had to travel, the less chance of contamination
  • Information – you can inquire how the food was grown

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So, there you have it…specialty foods really are special!

Do you buy these types of foods and if so, what are your feelings about paying more for them?