By Kirsty Matthews | Posted 21st February 2020 | Food Trends
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so after the 31 days in January (yes there really were only 31 days although it felt longer) it is no wonder that many will continue with the healthier eating habits they started in January.
The days are getting longer and around the country the first signs of spring are appearing with flowers raising their heads. It is a key time of year to freshen up menu offerings and we have some ideas to help you.
With consumers more informed and more interested in health it is clear to see that food-to-go operators have this firmly in mind when developing new ranges.
Products with a focus on lighter, fresher and more nutritious ingredients are a clear focus for food-to-go operators in 2020.
Of the 74 new product launches in January 2020, 42 of these had a “health” label, and 29 were vegan products with the plant-based trend becoming more established a lifestyle.
Mindfulness – a form of meditation which helps you acknowledge and manage your emotions and physical sensations – is practised by some when it comes to eating.
Mindful eating helps people focus on how they feel when they are eating, the sensations that flavours and textures provide.
It also teaches them to stop eating when they are full, meaning that social overeating can become less of a problem.
Taking consideration of the five senses when developing dishes has never been more important.
Think about textures, colours and shapes of food as these, along with the smell and taste are essential.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Consumers still want to be able to treat themselves, so being able to provide healthy and delicious treats to help maintain a more constant feeling of wellbeing as opposed to a one-off splurge is a great opportunity to satisfy consumer need.
If you have not seen our recent article on nootropics, there are some great ideas there to help tap into healthy eating habits.
A greener future
Doing the right thing is no longer a business choice, it is simply business sensible – the consumer demand for sustainable solutions has grown and is no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have”.
A recent study from the Soil Association revealed that nearly two thirds of consumers believe that ethical considerations are important when choosing where to eat.
No matter which part of the food industry you look at, there are expectations from consumers as to what businesses should be doing to improve.
Packaging is a key focus in the food-to-go sector.
Many operators are looking at how they can continue delivering great service and brand personality that their customers expect while satisfying the desire for sustainability.
Many are using technology to help. At the recent MCA food-to-go conference itsu spoke about their commitment to sustainability and how they are trialling screen ordering to help.
Consumers can see what they are ordering on screen which removes the need to have fridges at the front of the store (so less energy is used) as well as less see-through (plastic) packaging.
Whether it is having less pressure when ordering, the ability to scan through more items on the menu, an improved user journey or the gamification element many operators who have implemented touch screen ordering have also seen an increase in order value.
A staggering 70% of the UK public unaware that food waste has an impact on climate change.
It therefore comes as no surprise to hear that many restaurants and food-to-go operators are working to implement practices that help them reduce their food waste as well as help educate their customers.
Sources: MCA food-to-go market report 2020 | Pub & Bar | MCA Food-to-Go conference | Soil Association Organic Market Report 2019