Pledging to eat well and look after yourself isn’t just the domain of New Year’s resolutions anymore.
Consumers are increasingly developing an appetite for healthy and wholesome food and they aren’t waiting for January 1 to make a lifestyle change.
Fortunately for food and hospitality venue owners and operators, this doesn’t mean consumers are shunning takeaway or dining out, just that their ordering patterns and preferences are changing.
A report by market research company IBISWorld predicts that one of the biggest growth-drivers in the hospitality and takeaway sectors will be consumers seeking out premium, healthy menu items.
“Consumers have increasingly demanded healthier and higher quality food products (in 2020-21) and industry operators have responded by expanding their use of fresh and premium ingredients and by introducing new product ranges,” the report stated.
The great news for venue owners and operators is that by employing a few simple tactics and tips, they can capitalise on this growing lifestyle trend and grow their business in return.
THE INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
Consumers are well-educated about the nutritional content of their food and their conscious efforts to choose healthier options have shaped industry demand. In response, operators are introducing healthier, premium menu choices. They are also expanding their use of fresh and premium ingredients and introducing new premium product ranges.
“Menu innovation… will be a key determinant to success over the next five years,” IBISWorld reports, adding profitability is projected to rise over the same period as premium products often carry higher margins.
Helen’s Hint: Incorporating high-quality, seasonal ingredients will result in premium products that appeal to discerning and diet-conscious consumers. Regularly evaluate and refresh your menu in line with the quality and availability of ingredients, market trends and consumer feedback so you can quickly respond to seasonal dining trends and meet your customers’ evolving needs.
SAVOURING LIFESTYLE CHOICES AND CHANGES
Dietary restrictions are no longer quite so restrictive as consumers increasingly pick and choose food options that align with their tastes, values and personal sense of wellbeing. One of the biggest shifts in recent years has been away from meat products with more consumers adopting plant-based diets ranging from curious flexitarians to strict vegans.
“Consumer diets are evolving beyond conventional food groups, with growing concerns over health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability weighing on per capita meat consumption and driving demand for plant-based diets,” IBISWorld research found.
It predicted meat alternatives and plant-based products would become menu mainstays across more food retailers, from fast food outlets to fine dining establishments.
Helen’s Hint: Plant-based products are here to stay and likely to surge in popularity. When menu planning, consider a range of dietary requirements along with lifestyle choices to best cater to the evolving tastes of consumers such as gluten-free frittatas, vegan filos, gluten-free and vegan vegetable rostis, vegetarian gourmet scrolls and rolls and gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan muffins.
THE NEW FOODIE CULTURE
Australia’s food culture has significantly changed over the past five years as venues place increasing emphasis on premium meals and quality ingredients. This shift, combined with a growing foodie culture, has increased the number of smaller operators differentiating themselves based on quality. This trend has prompted more gourmet options in the fast food, café and club sectors and the introduction of new food options that were previously considered restaurant meals.
Helen’s Hint: Going gourmet is easier than it sounds. You don’t need to hire a Michelin-starred chef or triple your kitchen capacity, just make a conscious choice to seek out and serve premium savoury and sweet products made with high-quality, fresh seasonal ingredients. Think tender steak and mushroom deep-dish pies, authentic tiropita (cheese) filos, a summery slice of coconut and mango bread or a flaky filo stuffed with perfectly spiced vegetables.
CHECK OUT THE COMPETITION
Everyone in the food service industry is embracing healthy eating trends with IBISWorld reporting restaurants and cafes are poised to capture a growing share of the quality-conscious consumer market. Its research also predicts supermarkets will expand their pre-made meal ranges to grab their own slice of the health-conscious pie. Other trends in 2022 and beyond point to cafes continuing to corner the lunchtime market with a selection of healthy and convenient meal options. Restaurants, meanwhile, are projected to begin offering more takeaway options to maximise their sales. Across the industry, operators will likely benefit from reviewing the quality and price of menu items to differentiate themselves from their competition and best appeal to consumers.
Helen’s Hint: Set yourself apart from the competition by planning menus that incorporate products and meals of a consistently high quality that make the most of seasonal ingredients. Our products are handmade with love from traditional family recipes, our business is Australian owned and operated and we are committed to supporting local farmers and producers. Your customers will taste the difference.
View Helen’s full range of high-quality, savoury and sweet products HERE.