How our customers are changing the landscape of food offers to include more wholesome and nourishing options
Walk through a Future Food-curated food precinct Today and you won’t see any fast food majors in sight. Nor are the people using these spaces asking for them. This is because, for a growing number of consumers, health is at the forefront of their consciousness so the ‘cheeseburger and fries’ does not quite cut it anymore. Not only do fast food options not quite cut it but people are measuring health differently now. We’ve moved beyond counting calories and into the era of good, honest food that people see as nutritious and nourishing.
Nutrients over Calories
We’ve seen the implementation of calorie counts on menus however the impact of these on people’s choices is negligible. This is because people aren’t just concerned about the calories anymore. Words such as whole foods, organic, ‘healthy fats’ and fibre are the one’s people are looking for on menus when it comes to making their food choices these days. We are part of a highly discerning population thanks to the growth in information availability so people have become much more engaged with what it means to be healthy. Thr1ve, a paleo fast casual restaurant that is established across Australia, gives their customers all the information they need including dietary requirements, protein content and where the food comes from.
Know Where Your Food Comes From
Concepts such as ‘paddock to plate’ or ‘farm to fork’ are one’s that are very important to a number of consumers now. Earl Canteen, a gourmet sandwich outlet found in a number of precincts across Melbourne, pushes their use of ‘locally sourced produce’ in their tagline to match their identity of fresh, genuine, everyday food. Many other brands are also adopting this concept because it builds customer trust - the educated consumer of today is more willing to pay a few more dollars for locally-sourced food as they perceive it as better-tasting, more valuable and also more sustainable.
The Plant-Based Movement
Not everyone is preaching veganism or even vegetarianism for that matter but it is evident that more people are becoming more open to a plant-based diet. There has been a lot of media coverage on the fact that our world population will not survive consuming the amount of meat we currently do and the health benefits of a more plant-based diet have been touted so it’s no surprise that between 2009 and 2013, the proportion of Australian’s adopting a plant-based diet rose by 16% (1) and the same sorts of statistics have been shown in the UK and USA. However, restaurant owners aren’t necessarily stating the plant-based offer in black and white but rather building it into their menus with an emphasis on great tasting food that just so happens to be meat-free. Chef and Owner, Chloe of vegan fast casual outlet 'by CHLOE' in USA ensures all her menu items pass the ‘carnivore taste test’ and goes by the fact that changing the world through food is all about great tasting ingredients.
Deceptively vegan and wholesome food from by CHLOE in West Village, New York
With people becoming increasingly discerning and conscious of their food choices, the transformation of the food precinct into a space that offers healthy offerings is becoming stock standard. From acai bowls, grain salads, vegan macro bowls and whole food snacks, there is a wide variety of options for people to choose from and they definitely are choosing them. Stay tuned for the second part of this blog series where we give you some great examples of brands doing things the healthier way in our food precincts.