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By Tim O’Dell, Chili Dawg’s Foods of Fire

Everyone knows about the growth of specialty foods. As a result, there are many fledgling specialty food stores sprouting up all over the country. Many brokerage firms and distributors are changing their focus to specialty foods with great success.

It is hard to say that there are just one or two reasons for this explosion of growth. There may be many more reasons than we can identify, but some of those reasons are caused by customer demand.

Consumers are now very health conscious. For example, they search for gluten free foods. They may look for low sodium or no sodium. Diabetics search for sugar free products. Customers search for foods with no MSG (monosodium glutamate). All natural products are sought out by consumers by the hundreds of thousands or even millions. So much so that big chain stores are creating special sections designated for foods that are all natural. These sections are more appealing to health conscious consumers.

The personnel at specialty food stores are very much aware of consumer needs and wants and do a very good job of offering the foods consumer’s desire. This is a very healthy alternative for consumers.

Special gifts can be found at these stores as well. As everyone knows, it is hard to find a very special gift for special holidays, like Valentine’s Day which is soon approaching. Diamond rings, bracelets and necklaces will most certainly be part of the day. Flowers and chocolates are always popular as well.

It is my contention however, that specialty gifts, for the spouse who has everything, are a perfect surprise. Especially for the loved one who enjoys cooking or experiencing quality foods with a different presentation or a new recipe.

The staff at specialty food stores can direct consumers and gift seekers to the most popular offerings that are sure to please the person closest to your heart. These personnel have knowledge and are there to help in any way they can. They may even have ideas that you have not thought about. Offering specialty foods can be a very special gift indeed.

To be sure, I am not saying you should replace those diamonds, flowers or chocolates, however for a very special surprise for your loved ones, add a supplement to your gift. Something a little different to show your love. Something special from a specialty store.

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