GreensdairyandsweetsWhatdoesthefuturehold

Greens, dairy and sweets: What does the future hold?

May 07 2014

Many different factors ​are ​behind the various ​food trends emerging in Canada. Whether this is a certain celebrity endorsing a food, a 
particular​ cuisine gaining traction or the desire to be healthier, it is imperative foodservice operators remain one step ahead of the game.

The rise of the health-conscious consumer is one trigger for trends and Forbes reports that more than half of the nation is overweight, including nearly one-third (32 per cent) of children. It is no surprise that restaurants across the country are consequently making steps to change the way they're cooking in a bid to enhance their customer appeal.

Writing for Food in Canada, Gary Read highlights how this desire, amid other things, is having an impact on what food is currently trending - and what's falling out of favour.

Fruit and vegetables

As might be expected, this section of the market continues to grow from strength to strength.

Those who are conscious about what they eat - dubbed healthies by Mr Read - see these foods as "key to a healthy diet" and, as a consequence, are "eating more of both". 

A notable trend at the moment is finding locally-sourced food and greenies, as they are so termed, consider it important for fruit and vegetables to have this quality. 

In addition, Mr Read notes how greenies are naturally inclined to purchase these products as they're seen as being more environmentally friendly.

Those consumers who are looking for innovative cooking methods - dubbed foodies - are calling for fruit and vegetables to be prepared in ways that are not the norm, "with new varieties and characteristics". 

The importance of striving for inventive ways to create dishes cannot be underestimated, so foodservice operators would do well to consider how they can liven up these products that already have a widespread appeal. 

Dairy products

Mr Read does not anticipate much of a change to this sector, due to its natural popularity that shows no signs of waning at any point soon.

One point he does make is how the healthies may be reluctant to eat certain dairy products - preferring skimmed milk as opposed to whole milk, for example. With these foods notoriously having high fat contents, this is something for operators to bear in mind when offering dishes that contain large quantities of dairy.

Confectionery

The recent rise in healthy eating could potentially hamper how well confectionery products fare in the Canadian food market. 

Mr Read says​ although the healthies would understandably want to shy away from products high in sugar, the fact that chocolate can also provide a much-needed boost of energy is helping these commodities to still have an appeal.

Foodies would typically look for inventive dessert products - ​and as reported recently, many Canadian restaurants are pushing the boundaries when it comes to this part of the menu. Unusual hybrid offerings such as ice-cream cupcakes and combining sweet and savoury dishes are helping to extend the appeal of puddings.

A concern for greenies is how the cacao is grown, such as whether or not the plantations are adhering to Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade Alliance standards. Promoting the sustainability and ethical nature of products on menus could be one way in which foodservice operators can alleviate consumers' worries over where their food has come from.