- Author: The MenuSano Team
- Published: 2/3/2020 11:30:02 AM
How many times in the last month have you heard the phrase “New Year, New Me”? This time around the sun, it’s not only a new year but the start of a new decade. This allows consumers the opportunity to refocus on their goals for the year, and make a new commitment to themselves to be healthy. While this all certainly sounds inspirational and motivating, making this commitment is not so simple.
It has become clear that as the years go on, people are becoming busier than ever. Between demanding jobs, family and social obligations, and self-care, having enough time and energy to prepare healthy meals is becoming more challenging.
Many families have both adults that are working full-time jobs, and even single people are under an enormous amount of pressure to keep up with the fast-paced working world, often forcing them to stay at their jobs late into the evening.
All this being said, it is very easy for anyone to slip into the pattern of unhealthy eating. After a 12-hour workday, it’s much easier to order a pizza or Chinese food rather than go home and cook a well-balanced meal. The time that could be spent meal-prepping is often used to relax and watch television, since during the week that downtime is very hard to come by.
However, what the general public must realize is that it is very important to make healthy eating a priority. Filling our bodies with nutrients keeps our bodies and brains running so that we can be functional and successful in all other aspects of our lives.
Many consumers have turned to food delivery services such as Freshly or HelloFresh, or turned to restaurant takeout for the majority of their meals. These foodservice providers give people the option to still select healthy meals but eliminate the prep time that many people just don’t have these days. This is why the foodservice industry must not only be sensitive to the needs of the customer, they also need to make an effort to cater to the healthy consumer. So what does this mean for your business?
Blended Plant-Based Meat
Each year, it is inevitable that new trends will hit the market. It is important that foodservice providers pay attention to the most popular trends, and adjust what they offer accordingly. A major trend that furiously escalated in popularity last year was the plant-based diet.
Recently, countless studies came out about the benefits of consuming more plant-based products compared to eating red meat. Health-conscious consumers quickly caught on. Even at the Golden Globes this year, the menu was changed to include plant-based products only. As many health benefits as this diet offers, it is not easy for someone who is used to eating red meat as part of their regular diet to quit “cold turkey” (no pun intended).
That is why many foodservice providers are starting to create hybrid food products that blend plants and real meat. This serves as a healthy alternative that does not cause such an extreme change in someone’s diet.
Examples of blended plant-based meat are burgers, hot dogs, and sausages, to name a few. As more information becomes available about the dangers of eating too much red meat and the benefits of consuming more plants become more well known, the popularity of these blended plant-based products will continue to gain momentum.
Whether customers decide to participate or abstain, “Dry January” has become an increasingly popular movement over the past several years. “Dry January” means that people abstain from alcohol for the entire month in an effort to detox from the holiday season, which typically involves drinking a lot of alcohol.
In theory, it is a great idea for people who want to reset their bodies and have a healthy start to the new year. For restaurants and other foodservice providers that rely on alcohol as a moneymaker, “Dry January” can pose many challenges and forces them to become more creative with what they serve.
In recognition of this trend, many brands have introduced alcohol-free drinks or “mocktails” on their menus. According to Yelp’s 2020 Trends Report, trendy, non-alcoholic bars are continuing to pop up all over the country, giving people alternative options to drinking during a night out. It’s a popular trend that businesses should certainly keep their eye on especially this time of the year.
There have been many studies published in the past that talk about how people, specifically women, are not getting enough protein in their diets on a day-to-day basis. Whether people are unaware of the nutrition content of the food they are eating, or they prefer high-carb foods over high-protein foods, it is difficult to ensure that you are getting the appropriate amount of nutrients each day.
Several brands have gotten smarter by taking notice of this trend. Foods that provide consumers with the most nutrients, ones that are high in protein are being served directly to consumers. How? They do so by incorporating protein into commonly consumed beverages and foods, such as coffee.
This trend is increasingly popular because it requires no extra effort for consumers. Keep in mind that offering an added benefit to your coffee drinks can certainly increase your revenue.
When people decide they want to lose weight, a typical first step is to cut out carbohydrates and, if possible, sugar in general. By eliminating, or even limiting sugar intake, the body is forced to run on other nutrients (i.e protein), that helps consumers look better, and feel better as well.
Countless studies have come out about the enormous amounts of sugar consumed each year via processed foods and soda. Now that people are becoming aware of this, they are making a more conscious effort to choose natural sugars such as fruits over refined sugars like syrups.
Although fruit still contains sugar, it is easier for the body to process because it is in its natural form, rather than refined sugars which are made of artificial materials that the body does not process naturally. This can ultimately lead to severe health issues.
As a foodservice provider, it's important to offer low-sugar options in your menu to cater to these health-conscious consumers.
As we enter a new year and decade, health and wellness continue to be a top priority across all industries. Technology, in the form of a nutrition analysis software, has continued to gain more popularity in the foodservice industry. Simply put, it provides people with accurate information about what goes into their food. MenuSano, an efficient, compliant nutrition analysis software, ensures that the most up-to-date, accurate nutrition data is available for your customers.