How To Meet the Demands of Emerging Diet Trends
From keto to plant-based, diet trends are constantly changing. And restaurants can fall out of the loop by failing to meet consumer demands. Luckily, you can read our guide on how to meet the demands of emerging diet trends for help.
What Is a Diet Trend?
A diet trend is a way of eating that encourages those seeking to lose weight to eat healthy while adopting an active lifestyle. These trends put dietary selections in the context of eating better to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Throughout the years, diet trends have changed, and people have found new ways to heighten health and wellness. For example, many people enjoy flavor concentrate for beverages because it enhances the flavor of drinks without tons of sugar. Ultimately, the central focus of diet trends remains on improving someone’s lifestyle.
What Are the Top Diet Trends of 2022?
In 2022, there is a focus on plant-based diets with a desire for globally-inspired dishes. However, we can dive deeper into specific trends. Check out the top diet trends for 2022:
- Plant-based foods – The plant-based movement is the biggest trend in the dietary world. Plant-forward options like chickpea pasta and vegetable-based sauce are popular options in this diet sector.
- Plant-based Omega 3s – Typically, you will find Omega 3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon. But chia seeds, brussels sprouts, and walnuts are plant-based sources that people are selecting.
- Alcohol-free drink options – Alcohol-free spirits are a big trend in the beverage industry. Mocktails, wine, and beer from sparkling water and distilled botanicals are the new wave for limiting alcohol consumption.
- Recycled ingredients – Food waste is a prevalent topic in the United States, and people are looking for ways to reduce excess waste. And one way to do this is by recycling ingredients. For instance, some companies make new products from leftover foods, like granola mix from leftover oats and dried fruit.
- Beverages with health benefits – Along with alcohol-free beverages, people want drinks that benefit their gut health and boost immunity. Drinks with prebiotic and probiotic ingredients are extremely popular this year.
- Seeded foods – Sunflower, hemp, chia, and pumpkin seeds are popular seeds that people want in their food products. These small but mighty food items are nutritious with several health benefits.
- Nutritious frozen meals – Many individuals seek convenience, and frozen-prepared meals are the best option. However, people are opting for nutritious frozen meals with a balance of lean meats, vegetables, and carbohydrates.
- Globally inspired meals – The halt of international travel is one effect of the pandemic, and many people want to enjoy global flavors. Therefore, the popularity of packaged foods with international flavors is high.
- Oats replacing dairy – Oat-based milk, yogurt, and ice cream are slowly winning the hearts of many consumers. Oats are a suitable dairy alternative for vegans, vegetarians, lactose-intolerant, and dairy-free consumers. On top of that, oat-based products taste great.
- Low-sugar foods – People seek products with lower amounts of sugar to avoid health risks like type 2 diabetes. Products with natural sweeteners like ginger, cinnamon, dates, and fruit juices are the better option for many individuals.
Acknowledging the Past: Diet Trends of 2021
After a year of staying home, people began to reevaluate their food choices and pay attention to their diets. Ultimately, this led to a surge of weight-loss diets that focused on specific food groups. Here are some of the biggest diet trends of 2021:
- Keto diet – The keto diet focuses on high protein and low carbohydrate intake.
- Intermittent fasting – This diet consists of fasting for 16 continuous hours, and then eating whatever you want for an 8-hour window.
- Mediterranean diet – This is mainly a plant-based diet with limited meat and processed food intake.
- Flexitarian diet – A primarily vegetarian diet with the occasional inclusion of meat or fish.
How 2021 Influenced 2022 Trends
When assessing some of the biggest diet trends in 2021 and comparing them to 2022, there is a focus on plant-based meals and limiting processed foods. People want to know the exact ingredients in their meals and prefer simple foods with high nutritional value. So, the biggest influence of diet trends in 2021 is a stride towards simple eating with meals that improve peoples’ overall health.
What Does This Mean for Consumers and Restaurants?
The growing conscience of health and wellness among American consumers is the driving force for changes in the food industry. Eating and living healthy is something people don’t want to do alone. They’re looking for restaurants to reflect this initiative, which means that restaurants must adapt their menu to meet consumer demands. Doing so will keep up with the latest diet trends while encouraging customers to dine at their establishments.
How Restaurants Can Meet the Demands
Restaurants can play an active part in meeting consumer demands. And by following the tips below, restaurant owners can successfully keep up with trends.
Offer More Plant-Based Dishes
Being plant-forward doesn’t mean restaurants have to go completely vegan or vegetarian. It also doesn’t mean they only offer standard plant-based meals like salad or veggie plates. Offering delicious options like cauliflower steak with salsa verde or black bean burgers with avocado are great choices!
Be Transparent About Ingredients
Food transparency is being honest about ingredients and nutrition. It’s important for restaurants to list their meal ingredients and offer accurate nutritional aspects like calorie count and portion size guidance. This helps consumers decide what they want to order.
Add Healthy Drinks to the Menu
Restaurants shouldn’t stop at simply improving food because drinks are important, too! Adding healthy drinks like kombucha or biodynamic wines to the menu can entice customers to dine at your establishment. In addition, replacing regular juice with cold-pressed juice and infusing drinks with naturally sweet herbs limits high sugar intake.
Allowing customers to create a meal with ingredients of their choice is one of the best ways to meet the demands of emerging diet trends. Healthy meals look different to everyone, so allowing people to customize their plates will meet their individual preferences.
Combine Comfort With Health
When people eat at restaurants, they expect to consume a delicious meal. And many times, this includes comfort food like, mac n’ cheese, spaghetti, and pizza. Restaurants can take these comfort foods and pair them with healthy menu options to create balanced meal selections. For example, fried chicken with roasted sweet potato bites and green beans is a solid menu choice.
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