The food culture world-wide has undergone an undeniable shift to healthier eating.  While this may seem like a progression, taking a deeper look, it seems much more like going back to the basics.  Now more than ever, restaurants are embracing farm to table practices.  Consumers are returning to farmers markets and paying the price for certified organic foods.

 According to Health System Tracker, even prescription spending has lost momentum within the last few years.  You may already be aware that while prescription drug spending is where it is, many are turning to ancient medicine and natural remedies for their ailments and overall health practices. 

You could say it is as nature intended.  

Before gmo’s, chemically processed foods, trans fats, pesticides, and the like there were foods sourced by natural means that were easy on growth and development, as well as digestion.  While you may not see this affecting your business directly, we admonish you to take a closer look.

If you have a role in the food industry at all, it would be wise to acknowledge this health trend in some form or fashion.  Don’t just take our word for it, Technavio estimates that the health food sector will increase to about 8% in just 2 years’ time.  You may have noticed that even fast food empires are jumping on the bandwagon.  Hence this is not just something to observe from afar, this is something to participate in.  Why?  Leveraging healthy eating choices means more profits, you have proof that people are buying.

ECONOMIC GAINS

No matter what type of business you have in the food industry, and no matter your brand, acknowledging consumer trends is a non-negotiable matter…that is if you want any chance at longevity.  In other words, what has worked, may not always work.

We understand that this is easier said than done, to accommodate the needs of customers while staying true to your brand.  Change isn’t always easy.  If we’re honest, there is more than one variable to take into account.  Food cost may be one of the most significant of the bunch.  Resisting the temptation to pay an extra $2 for organic milk for your restaurant in comparison to regular, may be a hard thing to do.  However, looking at the bigger picture may make it easier to sacrifice. 

We are not suggesting that you need to go to extremes.  We’re simply suggesting that if you’d like to  remain a competitor in your market you may want to make some changes now.  It may not be in your best interest financially to switch to an all healthy menu.  Some choices are better than no choices.  Whatever you decide, just know that having options will give you a great deal of leverage with your consumers.  Whether it’s a few meals that you offer, or your entire menu, it can be leveraged.  Many restaurant owners can relate to having to cut corners where they can, and it is really a judgement call that only you can make for your business. 

ADHEARING TO TRENDS WHILE STAYING TRUE TO YOUR BRAND

You have a brand and a reputation to uphold.  Customers know you for the special touch that you offer them.  There is no shame if your touch is to serve food that tasty, but lacking on the nutrition side.  There is still hope.  Even if you’re known for the most indulgent food in town, you can still gain leverage with healthy options.  Should you throw-out your whole menu?  Probably not; most especially if you’re a big success. What we are saying is that adding more than salads as a healthy option to your menu is a guaranteed benefit.

LIFE OR DEATH…

You’ll notice that many of the customers who are choosing a healthier route for their diets are those who are backed against a wall.  Not every customer is a fad dieter who can take or leave healthier options.  The Harvard Health Policy Review, claims that in the US alone there has been a decline in health, and increase in mortality.  At an increasing rate, customers are finding that if they want any chance to live well, they have no other option but to eat healthier.  You may know the sad dilemma that many face, where healthy eating isn’t a matter of appearances, but a matter of life and death.  As far as business is concerned, if you don’t have a variety of healthy options to offer (that is well thought out) then you may lose business to a restaurant that does.  On the other hand, if you already have a great selection, this is your time to leverage what you have and improve, enhance and get creative!    

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