The food and beverages industry has witnessed a lot of change in the past few years and this change is representative of the changing consumer eating patterns where there is increased affinity for mindful eating, sustainable food patterns, convenience without compromising on nutrition and ensuring a wholesome diet. People know that choosing a healthy life today is not just for the sake of a longer journey but for the joy of living each step to its fullest and thanks to the Gen Z who have started eating mindfully and are even guiding their elders about the new healthy products in the market but the question of concern is “Do they take the steps for living healthy life correctly?”
They have started with diets like Keto Diet, Fad Diet or Gluten-Free Diet to fasten the process of weight loss without knowing the harmful effect of such diets on our health. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dt Sannya A Arora, Founder Of Ttranszerro, shared, “Health is the foundation of all we do; without it, our dreams and aspirations are but castles in the air. Embrace a healthy life, for it is the key that unlocks the door to a world of endless possibilities. The thing which every individual forgets is the power of nutrition along with a balanced diet and the power of real food. Real food is home-cooked food or whole food which is free from any preservatives and provides essential vitamins and minerals.”
According to her, the emerging food and health trends popularly seen are –
1. Popularity of plant-based diet: People have started shifting towards a plant-based diet. They have realised the importance of various phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals which are present only in plant-based diets. Everybody is well aware of the greatest of all-time star cricketer “Virat Kohli” who has shifted totally towards a VEGAN diet from being a hard-core non-vegetarian.
2. Popularity towards fermented drinks: People have started realising the importance of fermented drinks and food items. The focus has now been shifted towards buttermilk and curd. All the corporate workers have started carrying a bottle containing buttermilk in order to provide adequate nutrition to our bodies. Moreover, there are many fermented foods and drinks available in the market.
3. Growing interest of corporates as well as individuals in health: Corporate Companies have started showing interest towards the health of their workers. They have started giving health allowance and have built workout gyms inside the offices to provide healthy life both physically and mentally.
4. Growing demand for healthy food in the market: Starting from big dine-in restaurants to take away junctions all have started including healthy food in their menu card. They have started making different menus for health-conscious people in which they calculate and mention the amount of protein, calories, carbs and fat of the dish.
5. Shift from refined sugar and processed food: People have realised that refined sugar and processed foods are doing no good to an individual thus they have shifted from processed food and refined sugar to natural and whole ingredients. Looking at this shift, new brands and ventures are being regularly launched promoting healthy snacks with zero transfat, low sodium, gluten-free products and so on.
Ishit Pilani, Co-Founder of Organic Roots, revealed that the changing food patterns have accelerated the growth of 3 major food trends –
- Convenience – The world stood still for a bit and then we got back to our normal pace of life. With the resumed meetings, chores and other responsibilities, emerged the need for ready to eat food that is convenient yet loaded with nutrients. Healthy packaged meals are one of the biggest food trends for 2023. The consumer today is looking for food that is as wholesome as home cooked meals but eliminates the arduous preparation process.
- Reduced sugar intake – Awareness about the side effects of processed sugar have resulted in a decrease in sugar intake. Consumers are shifting to natural sweetener alternatives opting for a no sugar and high protein diet. More and more consumers are looking for clean labels wherein no chemical preservatives or artificial ingredients are added in packaged food. This awareness has also resulted in a decrease in consumption of processed food.
- Local produce and mindful eating – The conversation around sustainability and the impact of our food choices has become increasingly common. This has shifted the consumers’ focus to produce that is locally sourced and seasonal. Being aware of what we are eating has augmented mindful eating practices and the importance of conscious food choices and portion control for a healthy life.
The food sector has adapted to changing consumer demands where clean, nutrient rich, natural food is at the core of healthy eating today. This rising trend towards a healthy life should be promoted and people must follow healthy and mindful eating because if food is the medicine then health is the compass. Embrace the rising tide of healthy eating as it holds the power to transform your life, nourishing both body and soul.