Celebrity status will move one link further up the food chain and the Celebrity Chef will soon share the limelight with a new genre of celebrity; the Celebrity Farmer in this new food trend.
There is more food programming on television than ever before in history. Consumers around the world are fascinated by the real life world of the restaurant industry. Food documentaries such as Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives have also played a part in growing the consumer appetite for knowledge about not just how their food is prepared, but where it comes from and who grows it.
The first of what will likely be many Celebrity Farmers is the outspoken and charismatic Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Salatin is easily the most recognized of all of the thousands of farmers that supply Chipotle. Chipotle as many know was the top performing restaurant stock of 2010 with 170% growth; attributed largely to their strong restaurant branding rooted in the concept of “Food with Integrity”. It is hard to say who has benefited more from the relationship between Salatin and Chipotle. Both are becoming recognized as industry leaders but from different links within the overall food chain. One thing is for certain though, this relationship and public support of their views on food marks the genesis of what will be a long new food industry trend – the rise of the Celebrity Farmer.