Wellness In Action
Article

An honest approach to food - why choose seasonal produce

Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Consumers around the world increasingly care about what their food is made of and where it comes from. And more and more of them are choosing foods made with natural, recognizable ingredients, and more familiar, authentic or traditional cooking methods. Find out below what you can do for your business by sourcing local ingredients and putting them on your menu.

In response to these new preferences, supermarkets and food manufacturers are shifting toward simpler, more natural ingredients[1] and those expectations are beginning to shape what restaurants also do. As this trend continues, it’s important to understand how your guests’ expectations are changing, and what you can do to keep delivering great results with a more selective set of ingredients and cooking methods. Global research tells us that your customers are looking for:

 

Taking the mystery out of the menu

From the grocery store to the restaurant, today’s customers are looking for a combination of transparency and integrity. Which factors are most important to them?

A simple ingredient list: products made with the least ingredients possible is appealing to almost 70% of global consumers[2]

More natural ingredients: Almost 60% of respondents in eight European countries see a close connection between “natural”’ and “healthy,” while 62% of consumers in Asia Pacific and 70% in the Middle East and Africa are interested in products with natural claims[3]

Recognizable Ingredients: Forty percent of global respondents say the absence of artificial colours and flavours is very important when choosing food [3]

Familiar Preparation Methods: A study of 30,000 people in 60 countries showed that traditional food production methods are perceived as preserving the food’s natural state[4].

Local Sources: Local food sales in the U.S. grew from $5 billion to $12 billion between 2008 and 2014, and they were estimated to reach $20 billion in 2019[5], making local sources of meat and produce an important part of what we consume.

 

Fresh expectations in Dining

Consumers increasingly want to know what’s in their food, and one way you can reassure them is by drawing attention to where it comes from. By incorporating meat and produce from local farms into your menu, you can provide more of the transparency that your guests are hungry for.

 

 

 

Where does your food come from?

There are many ways to source fresher, more natural, and more authentic foods. As the farm-to-fork trend becomes the new normal,[10]  you can partner with nearby farms to supply chicken, beef, or  seasonal produce. Some restaurants are moving the “farm” closer to their tables,[11]  offering salad greens grown in their own  plot or herbs snipped from a greenhouse  on-site. You can also give your guests an authentic experience by buying food from the regions where it’s grown— such as virgin olive oil from Greece or Parmesan cheese from Italy

 

 

If you're after more information around what's seasonally available to you, check out The Seasonal Food Guide.

Find out what fruits and veggies are in this season in all regions of Australia, and find your local farmers market with a map and directory!


[1] New Nutrition Business 2019, 10 Key Trends in food, Nutrition & Health 2019

[2] Global Data, 2018. Trend Sights Analysis: Fresh, Natural & Pure.

[3] Nielsen. We Are What We Eat. 2015.

[4] Roman, S 2017. Trends in Food Science & Technology.

[5] Hesterman, O. and Horan, D. 2017. Business Insider.

[6] National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry report. 2019.
[7] Global Data, 2018. Trend Sights Analysis: Fresh, Natural & Pure.
[8] Technomic Healthy Eating report 2016. Restaurant Industry report. 2019.

[9] Technomic Healthy Eating report 2016. Restaurant Industry report. 2019

[10] National Restaurant Association. Menu Trends to Watch in 2017.
[11].Dunn, E. What Comes After Farm-to-Table? Wall Street Journal. 2018.
[12]Technomic MenuMonitor. 2019.