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Consumers want to tap into the power of food, finding the balance between satiety, nutrition and indulgence.
By taking a more mindful approach to eating, they can nourish not only the body, but also their mental well-being. Across the board, food and beverages are seeing an expansion from traditional “plus,” “minus” or “free-from” claims into more complex functional benefits. According to Mintel, 81% of US adults agree healthy eating is about balance, not restrictions.1 While traditional health goals are still a focus for many, the ways to approach health through food and beverage are growing. Consumers now use a vast spectrum to define well-being that allows them to personalize their health priorities. These can span from digestive health and immunity, to brain function and mood enhancement. To tackle health goals, superfoods and functional foods are grabbing consumers’ attention. According to Datassential, 40% of consumers plan to increase their consumption of superfoods or functional foods in the next year.2
Sustainability plays a critical role in the mindful eating space — not just to consumers but across the supply chain. In the UK, a restaurant focused on “living food” presents a curated menu for those passionate about taste, health and ingredient sourcing. In Colombia, an innovative startup connects farmers and food providers to neighborhood eateries and markets, shortening the journey between growers and restaurants.
Climatarian diets are on the rise, with consumers seeking out foods that have lower carbon footprints. In 2021, Datassential noted that 10% of consumers were practicing a climatarian diet.3 Commercial and non-commercial operations are stepping up to make a difference and help consumers choose earth-friendly meals by tracking carbon footprints — as well as implementing programs such as Cool Food Meals. This program labels approved meals by the World Resources Institute with a badge to let guests know those that have a low impact on the climate, and has participants such as Panera Bread and Aramark on board.
Operators will expand menu descriptions and communications to reflect the benefits and claims of functional ingredients as they relate to physical and mental well-being.
Operators will provide more education around specific functional ingredients to increase consumer understanding and credibility of claims.
Mindful eating will expand beyond personal health and incorporate a conscious effort to make eating decisions based on what’s best for the planet.
Operators are incorporating and communicating the functional benefits of their offerings, especially in smoothie, juice and health food restaurants. Many place a core focus on ingredient sourcing, transparency and holistic health through “whole food” consumption.
Physician, dieticians, and foodservice directors continue to place importance on health. From plant-based offerings in hospital cafeterias to produce stands on college campuses, non-commercial operations are creating innovative ways to provide access to beneficial foods.
Companies such as The Daily Harvest are capitalizing on the functional benefits that their healthy meals provide. Their website clearly lists “Key Ingredients” for each food and drink item and dives into the specific health benefits of each ingredient. For example, its description for the Organic Goji Berry is, “Gram for gram, these Himalayan berries pack more Vitamin C than some oranges and more beta-carotene than carrots.”4
Restaurants and retailers can help consumers balance their desires for health and happiness through food, especially when it comes to plant-forward dishes made with sustainable ingredients that are good for the earth, good for health and play in the wellness space. Watch Chef Mark Serice demonstrate how it’s done.
“First, reflect. Before you begin eating, take a moment to reflect upon how you feel. Are you rushed, stressed, sad, bored, or just plain hungry? What are your wants, and what are your needs? Differentiate between the two. After you have taken this moment to reflect, then you can choose what you want to cook and what considerations need to be made with regard to nutrition, ingredients, flavor development, balance, cravings, etc.
Next, relax. Before you start to cook or enjoy a meal, pause and take a moment to acknowledge the labor that went into providing your meal — be it thanks to the farmers, the factory workers, the animals, mother Earth, the chefs, or even your companions at the table.”
Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Custom Culinary® products.
Red and golden quinoa topped with wood-fired grilled vegetables and chickpeas in a roasted red pepper harissa sauce with lemon yogurt drizzle.
Featuring: Custom Culinary® Harissa
Roasted mushroom "meat"balls with butternut squash noodles, garlic sautéed kale, chilis, and turmeric sauce.
Featuring: Custom Culinary® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate and
Custom Culinary® Beurre Blanc Sauce
Roasted vegetables and chickpeas are stewed for hours and served with grilled pita, and a dollop of sumac-laced labneh.
Featuring: Custom Culinary® Gold Label Low Sodium Vegetable Base
As a proud member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Griffith Foods is committed to developing products that are aligned with the council’s Responsible Business Pledge for Better Nutrition. The pledge is a framework for business leaders to make nutrition a board-level priority by registering SMART nutrition commitments within the world’s first independent and comprehensive platform, the Global Nutrition Report’s Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF).
The objective of the NAF is to support the shared goal of ending poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms while enabling the transparency necessary to shape strong future commitments for nutrition.
Chef Michael Smith, WCMC, CEC, AAC
Mindful eating is maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and beverage you put into your body. It involves observing how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness.
Mindful eating requires you to simply acknowledge and accept rather than judge the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations you observe. It can extend to the process of buying, preparing, and serving your food as well as consuming it.
Join Chef Smith as he shares his thoughts around this intriguing topic.
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*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.