Rainbow Trend Adds Color to the Food World

Rainbow Trend Adds Color to the Food World

Food & Drink

Rainbow Trend Adds Color to the Food World

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By Cari Martens


It may have started with Amanda Rettke’s rainbow pancakes, created as a special treat for her three young children one weekend. Shortly after the Minnesota mom posted photos of her stack of rainbow-colored cakes online, they became the biggest internet hit since whatever the latest cute cat video was making the rounds at the time.

Rettke’s photos of syrup-coated pancakes, dyed red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and purple got picked up by a bunch of other websites including Trendhunter, The Insider, and Slashfood. Rettke’s own site, i am mommy, enjoyed a hit surge from 2,000 to 15,000, according to the story by Wency Leung, writing for the Globe & Mail.

‘I just think it’s something about the rainbow,’ Rettke says of the tremendous response. ‘There’s just really usually no negativity associated with that. Any time people see something like an edible-type rainbow, like a cake or pancakes, it just makes them happy. It’s just joy.’

Since then foods decked out in the colors of the rainbow seem to have just taken off, as if there really might be a pot of gold somewhere. Bloggers have been sharing tips on how to make the best rainbow cookies, cakes and cupcakes. Bakeries are getting in on the trend, too. One example: Bagel Basket in New York, has rainbow bagels for sale.

Kim Conte, food editor for lifestyle blog, The Stir, recently posted a colorful pictorial that included shots of tie-dyed cakes and rainbow cookies. She suggests the trend may reflect nostalgia for a time when consuming artificial additives was secondary to the pure joy of color and whimsy. Some believe these multi-colored dyed foods may even be a festive backlash against the current trend toward natural, unprocessed and unadulterated fare, writes Leung.

On the other hand, there were several comments highly critical of Rettke’s rainbow of pancakes, taking her to task for serving her children food with artificial dyes.

Isn’t that the way it is? One person sees a beautiful yummy rainbow, while someone else sees Red Dye #2 and Yellow Dye #3.

Anyway, for those who might be interested, here are some websites showing how to make rainbow-colored foods:

Omnicom has a photo essay demonstrating how to make a rainbow cake

Ourbestbites has a recipe for Colorburst Cupcakes

The Noshery has a recipe for rainbow cupcakes, also with great photos.

For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.

Have you seen an innovative product that will impact our food lives in the future? Let us know at Editor.

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