Juice Generation founder Eric Helms forecasts what we'll be drinking, eating and talking about next.
Eric Helms knows a good thing when he sees it. Exhibit A: About two years ago the Juice Generation founder came across a drink in a southern California Whole Foods. Its main ingredient, pitaya, a nutritionally rich dragon fruit, was unknown to him. He loved the flavor, did some research and concluded that it could be The Next Big Thing. And just like that, it was.
To be fair, Helms had a hand in pitaya's ascent. After that first sip, "I learned as much as I could about pitaya and thought it could fit well in the direction that we're going at Juice Generation," says Helms. So he emailed the juice company and soon found himself on the phone with the owner. "I said, 'What are the possibilities? Can we just get the raw pulp? Can it be certified organic? What if we buy the whole crop?' He is a small business owner and I am a small business owner, so it was a good fit for us both," he explains. Fast forward and Helms had bought out the crops of 100 small farms in Nicaragua, and was introducing the low-sugar, fiber-rich fruit to American juicers via his Pink Pitaya smoothie last summer.
Helms's passion for pitaya got us curious about what this innovator see as The Next Next Big Thing. Here, he forecasts three trends on the brink: