A Return to Real: Artisanal Foods


Let’s be honest.

Even though there is a vast amount of incredible recipes and flavors in the United States, we haven’t really been known globally for our foods.


We suffered through years of fast food and freezer meals. And, we became known for it.

But, there’s nothing like quality, no matter where and how you find it. And, because millennials are the most knowledgeable, connected, and socially responsible generation this country has ever had, they’re demanding a return to real foods.

It’s not just a matter of home-prepared foods either. Millennials are foodies, and they want artisanal foods. Indeed, they demand it. (They also can’t stop adding sriracha to everything they eat, but that’s another story.)

What Does Artisanal Actually Mean?

The word artisanal has its roots in Italian. Artigiano refers to a skilled craftsman working with his or her hands. And, it’s important to note that it continues to pop up on labels on all sorts of foods. Many people tend to associate naturally with artisanal; indeed, some people use the words interchangeably.

But, natural doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with handiwork. But, at the very least, Whole Foods and GMO-free activism have brought food to the forefront of the conversation. And that’s spurred the movement back to artisanal foods.

Everyone is jumping on this bandwagon. Dominos has launched artisanal pizzas. You’ll also find an almost unbelievable number of craft breweries that fall underneath the labels of major brewers. Artisanal is everywhere – or at least the word is. After all, it’s rather unlikely that all the foods and products marked with the word artisanal, are actually hand-crafted.

But we’re getting there. While millennials are swayed by the word – and more likely to pick up a product if it appears somewhere on the label, they’re also label checkers. They want to know what’s in their food and how it was produced.

That’s good news for companies like Ashley Foods.

When millennials get over their obsession with the word, they’ll start looking beyond the labels carrying it. They’ll begin to realize the difference between foods that are – and are not – artisanal. And, since we hand measure every batch of our hot sauces, purposefully filling each one with natural and exquisitely scorching chili peppers.

We’re not just following the artisanal trend; we’re leading it. That’s true whether you add Mad Dog to your fast food or your wonderfully prepared home-cooked meals. We like it both ways. (And we know that millennials like our fabulously hot Mad Dog Reaper Sriracha for just about every meal.)

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