Society is changing fast and our attitudes to food are changing with it. Whilst until recently, we would look at food labels to find out calories and grams of fat, a new generation has emerged whose requests are much more extensive, asking questions such as; Where was it sourced? Is it organic? Is it sustainable? Is it produced ethically? The definition of ‘healthy’ is quickly becoming less about what will keep your body in shape and more about what is good for you, your carbon footprint and the world.
So, now we’ve established what the new generation want, what does this mean for food procurement within large foodservice businesses like restaurant chains? Are food procurement companies coping with the speed of the change?
Big food manufacturers are listening more to consumer demands and are working hard to ensure transparency with regards to ingredients and sourcing. People’s awareness of environmental issues has also influenced food manufacturers to introduce better earth-friendly practices such as lowering energy and fuels used during the production and transportation processes. As western culture continues to adopt this new ‘food thought process’ we will all reap the benefits of becoming savvier with what we are potentially going to consume.
Universally, restaurants are starting to understand that consumers want more control and choice over what they eat, information and customisation being at the top of the list. People don’t want the same burger that everyone else is eating. They want to custom-design the flavour and personalise their meal. They are paying for the food and it should be exactly what they desire. Options for ‘skinny’ meals are also making waves, with food offers such as burgers with no buns, salad instead of chips and grilled food instead of fried, paving the way to a more health conscious society.
One major area that seems to have picked up speed at a considerable rate is grazing. Instead of eating large meals, people are snacking more regularly throughout the day, therefore snack options across the food industry have exploded and there are many healthy options such as; chia seed puddings, roasted chickpeas and popped sorghum. This millennial way of thinking has also pushed food companies to meet needs for convenience by demanding food packages that are minimal, easy to open and resealable. This in turn is aiding universal campaigns to reduce plastic waste and is driving sustainable food packaging.
With veganism, plant-based, gluten free, wheat free diets, seemingly taking the lead over the former basic balanced diet, most people are now becoming more open-minded and curious, trying new flavours, different ethnic cuisines and are no longer shying away from foods that may not be considered the ‘norm’ in western culture.
Here at Foodbuy, we understand that principles have changed for what makes food healthy, which is why we are striving to ensure our food procurement services are flexible and fully robust when it comes to locally sourced, high quality produce – while still driving value for you - whatever your preferences.