Health conscious consumers and the hospitality sector

It’s no secret that health and wellbeing is big business – but how should the hospitality industry respond to this? We spoke to some of this year’s exhibitors to find out how they are helping restaurants meet the demands of health-conscious consumers.

Health trends

We asked show exhibitors for their thoughts on continuing trends and new ones to look out for in the health sector. The team at Munchy Seeds on stand UU79 gave us their advice and said their top trends to watch were “Naturally healthy ingredients, protein, free-from and increased vegan/vegetarian options.”

While David Oates, Director at Mouthful Ltd (Stand: UT03) told us about the changes in consumer eating habits: “The global craze for less fat and less sugar is evolving to a more strategic type of eating, where consumers are looking to load up on the right kinds of fats and carbs at the right times of day.  Protein rich meals and snacks will also continue to become more popular.”

And speaking of the S word, one place it’s often hard to avoid this and other unhealthy ingredients is in alcoholic drinks - but according to Danielle Bekker of Good Living Brew Co. (Stand: UP68) it doesn’t always have to be this way: As well as the alcohol, many alcoholic beverages are high in sugar. But binary, our botanical ale, is proudly sugar free and this helps keep it low calorie with only 46 calories per 125ml! This makes it half the calories of wine or cider without the compromise on flavour.”

Appealing to healthy consumers 

For operators wanting to attract health conscious consumers and get a slice of this growing market there is a lot to consider. The team at Stefania Calugi Truffles (Stand: UL51), had some advice on where to begin: “The first step, of course, is the selection of raw material and suppliers. Then it is the composition and the clearness of the menu and the communication from the entire staff.”

David Oates at Mouthful Ltd, explained the fundamentals of appealing to this market, he told us: “If restaurants aren’t doing it already, then they need a system to know exactly what and how much each meal is comprised of.  This is not just important for diners with specific dietary requirements, but also to comply with food safety standards.  The last decade has seen a huge increase in legislation such as food labelling and, like it or not, this trend is only set to continue over the next decade, so why not be ahead of the curve?”

He added: “We are specialists in helping businesses define their long-term strategy. For a restaurant or pub, this means gathering just enough of the right kind of consumer and market insight to better inform the development of your brand and positioning of your products.  A clear strategy ensures you and your team are doing the right things!”

Super foods & special diets

The Munchy Seeds team felt special diets were a key trend for restaurants to take note of and told us: “More consumers are going gluten and dairy free as a health choice not because they have allergies or medical reasons.”

They continued: “All our products are vegetarian with 6 flavours suitable for vegans! They are all gluten, wheat and yeast free, 7 of which are dairy free. We do not add any artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. We provide an excellent source of protein, fibre and essential everyday vitamins and minerals. Seeds are naturally good, healthy ingredients.”

The team at Stefania Calugi Truffles were keen to tell us about their impressive credentials when it came to special diets and superfoods:

“We bought 30 hectares of truffle fields ‘entirely organic certificated’ in 2013. We produce ‘LINEA BIO’ (only organic preserved products) and all the preserved products in our range are gluten free since 2015. On top of this, the truffle is considered to be a ‘superfood’ for its traits and is perfect for vegan lifestyles”.

A world of health suppliers

At The Restaurant Show you’ll find a wide range of suppliers in the health and nutrition sector, from organic produce to free-from options and food and drink featuring reduced sugar, fat and calories. Other stands to look out for include TRKG Healthy Living (Stand: UV69), Suma Wholefoods (Stand: UN61) and KoKo Dairy Free (Stand: UV70). There will be plenty of new products and innovations to see and sample, so make sure you visit the show to find out what’s new and how to make the health trend work for you.