“Most consumers seem to want superfoods like ‘Açaí from the Amazon,’ ‘Inca Berries from Peru,’ ‘Goji Berries from China’ and ‘Cloudberries from Finland’ because they want some sort of miracle silver bullet, harvested from deep in the jungle, or gathered from the top of the purest mountain. It’s fetishistic, in the anthropological sense of the word: you’re the Don Quixote of the health food store, searching for the right combination of exotic antioxidants, that will let you live forever.
Nobody seems to want to hear that red cabbage will accomplish almost all the same things these ‘magical’ berries will, for a fraction of the sugar, and 1/20th of the price. For some people, when superfoods are staring at them in the grocery store for $1.99, it seems too easy.”
The power of marketing, as it applies to produce:
"Quinoa may deliver a complete protein—all of the amino acids you require—in a compact package, but rice and beans together actually do better. And like goji berries, blueberries and strawberries are packed with phytochemicals. The only problem is that lacking an exotic back story, food marketers can’t wring as exorbitant a markup from these staples: The domestic blueberry, for example, is periodically (and justifiably) marketed as a superfood, and in 2012, products featuring blueberries as a primary ingredient saw their sales nearly quadruple. But they only raked in $3.5 million—less than 2 percent of açaí-based product sales.”
-Tom Philpott, "Are Quinoa, Chia Seeds, and other ‘Superfoods’ a Scam?" (from Mother Jones)
The lesson? Find your local superfoods. I assure you they are just as good. But, if you must have your Inca and Goji berries, it’s a hell of a better price point to grow them yourself.