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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.
Beyond physical, emotional and cognitive benefits, the health of the planet is also coming into play. 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.
“Embrace mindful eating by employing all of your senses and being curious about what you eat and why. Pause to experience every bite, and take the time to reflect on how the experience changes from moment to moment.”
–Chef Mark Serice, Vice President Global Culinary, Griffith Foods*
Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Griffith Foods products.
Fonio is a highly cultivable, sustainable heritage grain packed with nutrients. Here, it’s combined with pan-fried trumpet, king and shiitake mushrooms, along with garlic, saffron, onion, tomato and leeks to create a plant-based take on classic Spanish paella.
Featuring: Griffith Foods Mushroom Paella Rice Seasoning
This low-calorie, fiber- and vitamin-rich snack is delicately seasoned with a spicy kimchi and toasted seaweed blend for a rich umami taste. Freeze-drying the mushrooms provides a mouthwatering crunch to the snack.
Featuring: Griffith Foods Kimchi and Nori Seasoning
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.
© 2022 Custom Culinary, Inc. All rights reserved.
*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.
1, Mintel, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022
2, 3 Datassential, Healthy Food Trends Food Bytes, October 2021
4 The Daily Harvest website, accessed April 7, 2022