Influencer marketing is all the rage but few are as consistently on the money as YesJulz (Julieanna Goddard). She is indeed one of those rare birds with an exceptional ability to suss out people, places and things that have the potential to become mainstream hits.
Sunday nite, scanning thru my instagram, I saw the above pic of her (left) in this amazing coat. My first thought: Kim Shui Studio (the designer of this coat) is about to blow up BIG TIME.
On a similar note – but speaking influencers in the food world. I want to do a big shout out to Naz Riahi of thisisbitten for #1 identifying major influencers at the intersection of food/tech and culture and 2) for putting Karen Caplan, President/CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, on my radar.
Karen spoke at the recent bitten conference in LA. And what she said about how “one person makes all the difference” has been top of mind with me ever since. The learning: It’s imperative to surround ourselves with as many of these singular influencers as we can find – whoever, they happen to be and from as many industries as possible.
Read on below for the specific example Karen gave of how one person influenced the trajectory of a major food trend. Also subscribe to the thisisbitten newsletter for the full recap of the LA conference as well as info on their next conference in NYC (I’ll be there!).
Karen Caplan gave several examples of “one person” influencers. The one that hit home for me was how the kiwi fruit (originally called the Chinese gooseberry) was introduced to Americans all the way back in 1962:
- One shopper in Utah – who had tasted them on a trip to Australia – went to her local Safeway in Salt Lake City to look for them.
- When she couldn’t find them, she went to talk to the produce manager.
- The produce manager contacted Karen’s mom at Frieda’s Specialty Produce in LA because they were known for being the place for unusual, ethnic produce.
- Karen’s mom got on it and shipments to the States began.
- She also renamed the item and the Kiwi Fruit was born.
- And the rest, as they say, is history.