The food industry is ever-evolving; modern day consumers have unprecedented access to a huge variety of meal options. And the breadth of available options is ever growing. One constant that is apparent in current food trends is the growing awareness among consumers that food affects how you feel. The modern day diner wants to eat a tasty meal confident in the knowledge that they won’t have to pay for it with IBS or worse later. People are no longer numb to the reality that you are what you eat. Savvy restaurants are harnessing this fact to distinguish themselves in a sea of competition.
Gut issues are pandemic. Savvy food providers are turning this unfortunate reality into an opportunity by providing probiotic infused foods and drinks. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria used by the body to break down nutrients. They are an essential part of every healthy gut. Fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha are natural sources of good bacteria. Other foods can be infused with probiotics for a similar effect. Look for ways to increase the availability of gut-friendly, probiotic-rich foods into your menu.
Some foods are more easily digested than others. Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, or “FODMAP”, are small chain carbohydrates which are difficult to digest. They are found in many popular foods, ranging from certain vegetables and fruits to certain dairy products and grains. While it is not necessary or healthy for everyone to completely cut out foods high in FODMAP, it is advisable to limit one’s intake. Restaurateurs can offer gut-friendly meals by strategically limiting the portions of foods which are likely to cause IBS symptoms. Make a good impression on your guests by ensuring that the only souvenir they take from their visit to your establishment is leftovers, and not an upset stomach.
Modern day consumers expect transparency. Not only do they desire a comprehensive ingredient list, they want to know the story of how each meal came together. What’s the biography of the restaurant’s founder? What’s the name of the chef who prepared my meals? These are increasingly common and important questions according to most consumers.
Take a lesson from the beauty industry, where a revolution of no-frills beauty products is disrupting a multi-billion dollar industry. Businesses such as Lush create an aura of transparency and intimacy through their uncomplicated products and branding. Each of their products is simply packaged with recognizable, limited, and pronounceable ingredients. Further, each product has the name and caricature of the person who prepared the product. This level of openness and simplicity is also desired and expected in the food industry.
This is an exciting time to work in the food industry. The surge in interest for healthy, traditional foods is exploding, with modern creative interpretations. Your restaurant has a tremendous opportunity to distinguish itself and attract loyal patronage by crafting healthy meals in a transparent environment.
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