At Yaupon Brothers, we are a company of self-proclaimed plant geeks and a former airline captain passionate about giving back... so it’s not often in our lives that we’ve found ourselves “on-trend”. ALAS, our day has come! When the Specialty Foods Association announced the top food trends for 2020... yaupon tea checks almost all of the boxes!
Let’s break it down:
- Plants as Plants: Meat Replacement Pushback
According to SFA, Trendspotters predict a consumer move to real fruits and vegetables themselves. More consumers will begin to think critically about meat replacements, looking more closely at the ingredient lists, supply chains, water usage, and food safety, prompting renewed interest in plants as plants.
Ok, so yaupon has never been a meat replacement, but for consumers who care about natural ingredients, a sustainable supply chain, rain as our water supply, food safety and consuming an authentic plant. That’s yaupon through and through. And while Yaupon obviously isn’t a substitute for animal protein, it is definitely a sustainable and local alternative to more resource-intensive non-native crops like coffee and tea.
- Sustainability-Driven Product Development
Whether it is motivated by regenerative agriculture, upcycled ingredients, or plant-based foods, products whose values center around sustainability are trending.
What’s more sustainable that using a native plant and wild harvesting it? We currently own land in New Smyrna Beach Florida, and wild harvest all of our leaves on organically certified property that has naturally growing yaupon holly – this is what it looks like for our leaf pickers...raw, untamed Florida wilderness:
Our packaging and processing facility are also designed with sustainability in mind!
We don’t believe that walking in the woods is the viable farming option for the long term, so we are working with UF/IFAS on developing sustainable farming techniques for Florida farmers. We currently have 4,000 trees in the ground at the first Florida tea plantations (with many more coming soon), creating an alternative crop to citrus and other non-native crops. We believe that yaupon will be the economic backbone of Florida agriculture in the years to come. We have to start small, but once our trees are established, they can be sustained without irrigation, fertilizer or pesticides... the advantage of growing a Florida native plant...in Florida.
Sustainability? Yaupon nails it.
(Our official Yaupon model, CEO Bryon White, who claims to have a face for radio)
- Fermented Condiments: Gochujang Comes to the Forefront
Trendspotters predict the combined expanding interest in fermentation and Korean cuisine and flavors will converge to bring fermented condiment gochujang to the forefront.
This one could be a new frontier (previously unexplored) for Yaupon. At Yaupon Brothers, we have partnered with several local bottlers to make Yaupon Kombucha, such as Mother Kombucha and Moonbooch, Yaupon-infused booze and even a Lavender Coconut Yaupon Beer that won crowd favorite in the Rocky Water Brew Fest on Florida’s Space Coast. Since Yaupon has amazing versatility; it’s easy to blend with other consumer products... so, why not gochujang? Let’s try marrying a Native American Historical tea with red chili paste of Korea. What’s the worst that could happen?
- Prebiotic Foods Gain Awareness
Prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in the gut and they are found in a variety of foods such as bananas, asparagus, seaweed, and barley among others. Expect more of these ingredients to hit the spotlight.
Yaupon is an antioxidant-rich super food that is naturally caffeinated. It also contains polyphenolics, flavonols, Quercetin and kaempferol 3-rutinosides. Translation - a digestive win that’s good for your gut; and is currently being studied for its medicinal impact on colon cancer... who needs fermented prebiotics, when you can have tannin-free (aka, not bitter), naturally sweet yaupon tea? Um, sign us up!
- Protein Trend Takes Unexpected Turns: Anchovies and Noodles
Consumers are aware of the importance of protein and continue to seek out interesting sources in their diets, whether under-the-radar varieties or new innovations.
Ok this one isn’t for us, however, what about some tea to wash down the protein noodles?
- Convenient Cocktails and Mocktails
Look for a continuation in 2020 with the trend expanding with more cocktails in cans and bottled mocktails that offer sophisticated alternatives for non-drinkers or curious consumers
Hell yes! Sign us up for this one! Yaupon tea is a perfect base for cocktails and mocktails! Our favorite is a Fire Roasted Warrior’s Yaupon Bourbon. It’s as good as it sounds!
Fire Roasted Warrior’s Yaupon Bourbon:
4 Fire Roasted Warrior’s Blend tea sachets
1 quart water
Bourbon of your choice
Boil water and add 4 tea bags, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour into ice tray and freeze. In a glass, pour in bourbon of choice and add tea ice cubes. Stir and enjoy. BOOM.
Hitting 5 out of 6 Trends for the new year? AHHHH-MAZING! We’ll explore Yaupon-fed anchovies to increase our score for next year, but for now – We’re TRENDING! #winning
If you haven’t tried Yaupon Tea yet, what are you waiting for?
Happy steeping in 2020.