American consumers expect a certain level of customization in the products they buy: Apps for their smartphones, or the color for their Mini Cooper. “It's an expression of our modern times,” says trendologist Kara Nielsen with the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco. The made-to-order mindset is thriving in the food industry, where consumers specify ingredients or flavors for everything from tea and coffee to energy bars and ice cream. “People visit ...

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