We’ve got wheat germ, flax and of course good old bran. Now the latest darling of the healthy food marketers is something called quinoa – the name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah”. It’s a grain that originated in the Andean region of South America and has been around for some 3000 years, but has only recently been set upon by the advertising world – in fact 2013 was the International Year of Quinoa. Nope, I’m not kidding. Unlike other healthy grains and cereals, such as the above-mentioned bran and flax, quinoa has a cool, exotic sounding name, great for marketing purposes. I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find all sorts of reasons to eat this stuff, but I still think it’s the funky name that drives its current popularity.
I imagine we will start to see products like Quinoa Flakes, Quinoa muffins, Post Raisin Quinoa,and quinoa pancakes during the craze But the marketers lucked out on this one. According to Wikipedia quinoa is a species of something called goosefoot. Yep, goosefoot. Now what would you rather try to market, something exotic sounding like quinoa or goosefoot?
Somehow I think the buying public might balk at Goosefoot Flakes, Goosefoot muffins, Goosefoot Crackers (available with salted or unsalted tops) or products with little labels across the corner of the box that say ‘High in Goosefeet’. Goosefoot and chickpea salad – doesn’t really whet the appetite does it? I can’t see an International Year of Goosefoot being as appealing.
Enjoy the Quinoa fad while it lasts and keep your eyes open for the next grain-du-jour!