New and Noteworthy

Greek Food Products Going Mainstream in the USA

Read original at Greek Reporter

Greek products are going mainstream in the USA gaining distribution and consumers way beyond the Greek American market.

In major supermarkets, one can nowadays find a wide variety of Greek products such as olive oil, yogurt, feta cheese, gyros, and Greek pies.

For example, in a Los Angeles supermarket, there is a huge selection of Greek foods unimaginable a decade ago. One can buy tzatziki, ouzo, Greek dressings, haloumi, Greek chickpeas, baked beans, olive paste, and pita bread to mention just a few. A whole shopping basket can be filled with Greek products.


Why Greek foods gain in popularity in the USA
One of the reasons why Greek products are increasingly popular in the American market is that Greek cuisine has become more popular in recent years thanks to its fresh, healthy ingredients and flavorful dishes.

Additionally, interest in Greek culture is growing, causing more people to seek out Greek products. Also, American consumers are increasingly interested in genuine products from around the world. Greek products are considered high quality and authentic, making them attractive to American consumers.

Finally, Greek products are increasingly available in the United States thanks to an improved distribution network.


When the US food scene was shaped by Greek products
One of the pioneers that shaped the American food scene is Grecian Delight/Kronos Foods created more than 40 years ago when Peter Parthenis Sr. started up a new Mediterranean food company in Greektown, Chicago.

Today, his creation, headed by his son, Peter Parthenis Jr., has grown enormously and Grecian Delight is once again changing the food game in America.

The 45-year-old entrepreneur expanded the business into more than 185 Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern products moving towards a healthier, and even plant-based, variety of offerings.

According to Parthenis Jr., food trend analysis on products, specifically gyros and other Greek and Mediterranean products, shows that there are still in the growth stage in the US food market. Meaning that there is ample room for increased demand for consumers hungry these protein-based products.

He explains that there are four sections of the cycle of consumer demand: “There’s the beginning, which is inception when it begins really ethnic and small, then there’s adoption, when people start to pick up and start buying it, then there’s proliferation, when its becoming mainstream, and then the last stage is ubiquity, which is when you can find it anywhere,” Parthenis Jr. says.

“Greek food, and specifically gyros, is in the stage right before ubiquity. It’s in the mainstream, we still see strong demand and we have a projection of growth for the next ten years.”

“You look in the fridge and you can find milk, cheese, eggs, that are products in ubiquity, you can find them anywhere.”  Parthenis Jr.’s long-term goal is to bring his products to everybody’s home.


Greek wine is becoming a sought-after
Other Greek products that are becoming increasingly popular in the USA are honey, mastiha, and wine.

Greek wines have made a spectacular entry into the hospitality sector in the US, and Florida in particular, with better quality products and improved distribution.

Thanks to the efforts of Cretan entrepreneur George Merlemis, Greek wines are becoming sought-after. Not only in Greek restaurants but in American restaurants too.

Merlemis, who operates some of the best Greek restaurants in South Florida, started the import and distribution business of Greek wines a few years ago.

“There has been a renaissance of the Greek vineyard in the last 25 years,” he told Greek Reporter recently. “We improved the distribution and capitalized on the trend for Greek wines.”

Merlemis who operates Taverna KymaTaverna Opa, and Giorgio’s Bakery in Florida is educating Americans on Greek wines and Greek hospitality.

“Greek food is very popular in the US. Recently, restaurants with Greek food have been opened by foreigners. Greek cuisine does not have many techniques, but it is the repository of the material. Good materials, good raw materials,” Merlemis told Greek Reporter.

He said that the “tip of the spear” of Greek wine penetration in the US market was the Assyrtiko from Santorini. A white grape native to Santorini, Assyrtiko produces crisp, mineral wines with citrus and white fruit flavors.

Moschofilero is another favorite with grapes growing in the area of central Peloponnese, producing a dry, crispy white wine that is full of aromas. Agioritiko and Malagouzia are also excellent varieties that are being imported by Merlemis.

The Greek entrepreneur says that Greek red wines are also making progress in the US market, especially Xinomavro, a red wine grape of the uplands of Naousa in the regional unit of Imathia, and around Amyntaio, in Macedonia.


Greek foods and cuisine taught at US University
Greek cuisine was recently introduced as a standalone program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) which announced the establishment of the National Hellenic Society Culinary Legacy Fund to promote Hellenic heritage, culture, and cuisine to culinary arts students.

Master Chef Diane Kochilas, star of My Greek Table, said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach the College’s hospitality students about wellness and other benefits associated with the Greek Mediterranean diet in several classes held over two days at the College.

The initiative for the program belonged to The National Hellenic Society (NHS), which said that it would help bring other chefs, culinarians, and experts who would impart their insights into the Greek Mediterranean diet, culture, traditions, and lifestyle to students.

As the demand for Greek products continues to grow it is expected that even more Greek products will be available to American consumers in the years to come.


Press Releases

ReadyCarved® Pork Al Pastor Slices manufactured by Grecian Delight | Kronos, Recognized as a Favorite in the Prestigious 2024 Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards
May 7, 2024
December 23, 2021
Grecian Delight | Kronos Foods launch integrated website
February 24, 2021
Greek American organizations join together to deliver tons of food to needy Chicagoans
June 17, 2020


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