Today’s consumers are becoming more conscious of health in general today, and that includes their diets. In decades past, the dining experience was about eating foods that were delicious and filling, without giving much thought to the function or health properties of the foods consumers were eating. Diners have changed their way of thinking today, and because of the increased focus on health, look for foods that include antioxidants, have a high amount of protein, probiotics, and that may help boost the immune system.
A nearly year-old study from Technomic examined consumers’ healthy eating behavior, shifts in their attitudes about eating healthier, explored menu descriptors and how consumers perceived them in terms of health, and more. One interesting finding was that more than 60% of consumers would be more likely to purchase foods with a function, such as those described above, than foods lacking specific nutritional function.
It seems that what foods are “functional,” or more important in terms of the health benefits they provide, differs among age groups. For instance, seniors who are in their 70s, 80s, or older don’t seem to be as interested in healthy foods as baby boomers, who pay attention to freekeh, quinoa, and other supergrains, or who may prefer whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, and berries.
On the other hand, college-age consumers often prefer whole foods or those providing antioxidants, calcium, or other ingredients that give students a boost. Some colleges are making use of symbols so students know which foods are good sources of antioxidants, protein and so forth. Symbols also alert diners to those menu items that are vegan, vegetarian, or whole grain.
Our society as a whole is focusing more on foods that are not only flavorful but functional, as we try to live healthier and “cleaner” lives. Food is a key factor when it comes to health, so focusing on nutritional value and incorporating healthier menu items with less saturated fat, salt, and other harmful ingredients or additives is essential.
At Gourmet Services Inc., we are a foodservices management company who keeps up with the latest trends in diet, nutrition, and healthy eating. Whether in the corporate, education, retail restaurant or concessions arena, it is possible to provide healthy, functional foods without sacrificing flavor! Come see what we bring to the table, today.