Have you noticed your customers asking for healthier choices? Are they now enquiring about the ingredients used in dishes? In a quest to live a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, Aussies have started to take notice of the foods they eat. In fact, 78% of us are researching health and diet related information. So, while the general Australian population becomes more health-aware, we have to question, where did it all come from? And how is it affecting restaurants, fast food outlets and those creative minds behind the pass producing the meals and desserts we all love?
WHO’S DRIVING THE HEALTH FOOD TREND?
You may or may not be surprised, but you can thank the younglings coming through the ranks for driving the trend of health-conscious consumers. Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, are currently the largest healthy eating consumer group in Australia. This group are the movers and shakers of Australian food trends due to their passionate, out-spoken personalities and over the last few years, have contributed more growth to the food service industry than any other generation.
Dietitian and Founder of The Australian Superfood Co, Hayley Blieden believes the trend towards living a healthier lifestyle has come down to Aussies being more informed than ever before. “Over the last decade consumers have become more educated and interested in the health implications of what they do, think and eat,” she says. But while it may seem easy to just avoid the trend all together and wait for it to pass by (as many of us do), industry reports are encouraging venues and chefs to jump on board because this trend is here to stay.
HOW IS THE HEALTH TREND AFFECTING HOSPITALITY VENUES?
In 2017, healthy options accounted for $5.8 billion within the food service industry in Australia, according to Food & Beverage Magazine. And in the latest Food Industry Foresight Report, Dining Out In Australia 2018, it found Millennials are driving revenue growth with an average spend of $32.77 when dining out. Compare this to Gen X who spend on average $27.21 and Baby Boomers who spend even less with $25.23. So, if you’re looking to boost your revenue, catering to Millennial wants has never been more important.
And to prove the younger generation mean business when it comes to opting for healthier alternatives, they’re also the biggest spenders on non-alcoholic beverages (surprise!). In fact, over recent months Aussies as a whole have been drinking less alcohol. Along with lower alcohol consumption, more and more customers are now eating vegetarian or vegan-based diets. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 11.2% of Aussies are now eating vegetarian diets and 12.1% are following vegan-based diets. Those figures are continuing to rise, leaving restaurants, cafes and bars searching for ways to keep up with customers who are more likely to head to an early morning yoga class, than late night drinks.
SO, HOW CAN VENUES MAKE CHANGES TO MEET THE HEALTH DEMAND?
Running a business is hard. Keeping up with the forever changing trends, health requirements and customer demands can sometimes feel like a never-ending cycle. And the latest health food trend is nothing different for venues who are trying to find ways to keep their clientele coming back. These days, chefs, café owners and ice cream parlour operators are beginning to incorporate ‘good-for-you’ options that touch on the keto, vegan and organic trends to make sure there’s something on their menu for everyone.
So, while flat whites and lattes used to be the beverage of choice, that is no longer the case as more Aussies opt for drinks that offer health benefits and nutrients. Many venues are now adding bulletproof coffees made with MCT oil, butter or coconut oil to their menu, turmeric, beetroot or matcha lattes are common place, as well as broccoli coffee containing ground dried brassicas as hot beverage options.
Fresh juices and smoothies are also becoming crowd favourites, as customers opt for healthier, natural beverages to bolster their daily fruit and veg intake. Shakes Juice and Ice Cream Bar in Hampton, Victoria offer their customers 10 fresh juices (plus a make your own option), seven dairy and six non-dairy smoothies made from fresh produce. They also cater to different dietary needs by offering soy and almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk. To take their healthy offering to another level, the popular venue also allows customers to boost the nutritional content by adding supplements, such as soy protein, a multi vitamin booster, chia or LSA.
Over at Lakes Hotel in Rosebery, New South Wales they have also amended their offering by adding a range of items that can be altered to either vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. Currently on their menu, their customers can choose from nine vegan-friendly meals, 16 vegetarian and 19 gluten free options. Along with the alternative dishes, the venue also offers healthy options for their patrons including a nourish bowl. Their popular, nutritious dish is made with fresh ingredients, such as Andean grains, kimchi, sweet potato, kale, pepitas, mushrooms, baby leaves, avocado and tahini dressing.
THE FINAL SCOOP
So, while Aussies are now expected to live 33 years longer than those born in 1890 thanks to their new perspective and way of life, it’s now up to venues to cater to customers healthy eating trends. Bring new faces though your doors by ensuring you have healthy options on your menu and open your venue up to a larger target market. Don’t wait for the trend to pass, now is the time to update your menu - whether it’s adding a gluten free bun or pizza base or offering a dairy-free or vegan ice cream, every little bit counts.
At Everest we have recently launched our Wellness Range to stay in touch with the latest health conscious consumer trends. With flavours such as Dairy Free Coconut & Manuka Honey, No Added Sugar Rock Salt Caramel and Avocado & Lime, it’s easy to find a dessert offer to suit all taste buds and dietary needs.
Check out our Wellness range today and place an order you won’t regret!