Isn't life good.
Bacon of the month? There's a food club for everyone
By Camille Hayes
Wednesday January 17th, 2001
Nearly all Americans have, at some point in their lives, belonged to some kind of monthly club. Book-of-the-month clubs are ubiquitous, providing discounts on pulpy paperbacks; CD-of-the-month clubs are the despair of every college sophomore who is suddenly inundated by an unstoppable stream of albums by artists he doesn’t really like.
As the country’s food obsession grew, it was inevitable that food-of-the-month clubs would begin to appear. While wine- and candy-of-the-month clubs are now fairly commonplace, other more specialized clubs also have sprung up to serve niche markets.
For example, do you know anyone who really, really likes bacon? If so, the Grateful Palate has a suggestion for the next birthday or holiday gift. The bacon-of-the-month club will deliver a pound of what the company calls “artisan” bacon to your pork-loving friend’s doorstep every month for a year.
The $225 subscription may sound like an eccentric indulgence, but Grateful Palate sales manager Dan Fredman says the 700-member club has caught on like wildfire. In the Grateful Palate universe, not all bacons are created equal, and Fredman says the mass-produced bacons available in stores pale in comparison to the club’s dry-cured and corncob-smoked varieties.
“Customers have been very enthusiastic,” he says. “People are coming out of the closet with their love of bacon. People who have only eaten supermarket bacon are amazed at the taste, and people who grew up in the South, and other places with a strong bacon culture, get to eat the bacon they grew up with.”
If cured pork belly isn’t your thing, how about some chips? Few foodstuffs are as distinctly American as potato chips, and the folks at Anchor O’Reilly’s are poised to take advantage of our particular attachment to the crunchy snack food. Members of the chip-of-the-month club are treated to a monthly shipment of no fewer than six varieties of chips — three regular and three flavored.
And what flavors they are: honey mustard, steak and onion, even crab and ketchup. Like the bacon club, Anchor O’Reilly turns to small independent producers for its products; its Web site boasts that club members munch on rarefied chips “they can’t get at their local store.”
Ultimately, that’s the allure of these specialty clubs: They offer the chance to obtain culinary exotica, noshes and goodies unavailable in the homogenized world of supermarket chains. Whatever your particular food fetish, be it salsa or jerky or nuts, there is likely a food-of-the-month club out there for you. And until Albertson’s starts stocking crab and ketchup potato chips, it’s likely that those clubs will continue to thrive.
Check the date of this article, probably 1,000,000 member by now!
Modified by car_nut at 3:01 AM 3-3-2004