#HealthyHorizons: Evolving with healthy habits

July 3, 2024 | By Anurima Das

#HealthyHorizons session at Food Service Forum 2024

There’s a big increase in healthy food options as consumer preferences shift towards healthier eating habits. How are culinary creators designing menus to offer clean, healthy, yet tasty and convenient meals? How are partnerships improving product quality, making supply chains more sustainable and increasing customer satisfaction? These partnerships create models that not only benefit businesses but also delight consumers. Some insights from a panel discussion at the recently concluded Food Service Forum 2024.

The trend for healthy eating is increasing and slowly taking the centrestage across varied categories of the food service industry. The customer today is very conscious and seeks varied options when it comes to choosing healthy food. This pushes the industry pioneers to ponder and bring to the table interesting menu options that satiate the tastebuds and offer exciting flavourful journeys, stated Simon Ritchie, Ultimate Fun Officer and Comms Director, Yolk Brands | Pickl | BonBird | 1762 | SouthPour.

The idea of eating healthy isn’t a universal truth and the same actually has to be adapted and altered as per the local requirements. For instance, the food that is considered healthy in the UK may not be bringing the same nutrient-rich component in this region. The concept needs to be understood from the local culinary point of view. From weather to the age group of people to the local taste buds and much more need to be accounted for when deciding meal plans, Tarryn-Leigh Green, Chef & Co-founder/Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Emirates Culinary Guild, Nyum Meals observed.

Social media has enhanced healthy concepts manifold and has over the years pushed people to adapt to the healthy lifestyle through aspirational content, added Andreas L. Borgmann, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Kcal. “But the commitment to get healthy is a long-term goal and it involves choosing a healthy way of life. Food does play a big role in this journey and the tastier the food the easier it is for someone to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle. That’s where Kcal fits the block, as through our offerings we try to give a healthy plan that encompasses 85% of the most easily available diets, but with a tasty twist.”

“Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring,” Founder, Manisha Advani, Soul Santé Café pointed out. “Normally this is something we regularly hear from our customers. They complain about the lack of tasty options when it comes to healthy food and the fact that they have to choose salads or raw foods to satisfy their health-food needs. This is something we set out to change with our exclusive menu. Our intention is to offer sustainable choices that are healthy and tasty, and the menu also comprises sustainable & organic produce. This is a well-rounded approach and helps us to offer customers healthy food with a difference.”

“We cater to diverse customers and palates; the challenge is never about giving them the right choices, but to make the choices as interesting as possible,” shared Shivani Sharma, Chef & Founder, Bliss Bites UAE. “The taste of a healthy choice should hit the tastebuds authentically and give the customer a burst of flavours. It is important to choose ingredients that are fresh and offer a balanced approach. It takes a lot of trials, experiments and hard work to decide a menu which is healthy yet tasty. And it is on us to educate and tell this story to our customers to make them understand the beauty of their choices.

“When it comes to the consumer today, it is without a doubt we understand that they are seeking healthy options in their daily lives, more than ever. But at the same time, they are also falling prey to social media gimmicks and reaching out for unhealthy practices and meals. This is where our jobs become crucial, and we need to simplify and offer the right tactics and plans that assure customers and empower them to choose health more confidently,” concluded Mitun De Sarkar, Chief Dietician & MD, Simply Healthy.

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