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Wellness VS Hospitality

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Contents

Do you know that in the last ten years there has been a 360% increase in the number of UK vegans? This means that at least 542,000 people in Britain are now following a vegan diet.

Did you also know that the average food service provider not offering a vegan alternative could be losing out on between two and five meal orders a day?That’s thousands of pounds missed out on every year.These statistics fuse perfectly into a bigger picture across the UK where we can see a massive surge in the consciousness of fitness, health and nutrition. This awareness has been rapidly increasing, and has taken the UK market by storm. Sales of ‘specialist’ food, celebrity ‘free from’ chefs, and fitness tech have never been so high.But this upsurge is built on the promotion of health, not weight loss; the diet industry that has been hurting for a while now. The focus is on wellbeing; personal balance and nutrition, and how food and exercise can successfully get us there.

Ten years ago, for instance, the sheer mention of quinoa (now a staple of many ‘clean eating’ regimes) would have been met by blank faces, and the nutritiously-dense ‘superfood’ avocado was considered too ‘fatty’ to eat regularly. Ten years ago, many of the younger population championed booze-filled weekends, all mopped up with copious amounts of fast food. Nowadays the same population are spending their Saturday mornings in the gym, or counting their daily steps on a Fitbit in a quest to get ‘lean’. Particluar diets other that vegetarianism and veganism, are also rising. Fruitarianism for instance, considered 'one of the most extreme vegan diets in the world', is becoming increasingly propular and even boasts celebrity endorsement. You can find out more about this diet here.Statistically the evidence is there, with studies indicating that 53% of those aged between 18-34 expect to change their eating habits to a healthier diet this year, compared to 19% of those aged over 55. Coupled with this is the increasing amount of people affected by an allergy or food intolerance; studies suggest that this is now as high as 44%.Of course this awareness is not only limited to physical health and diet, there is also a significant focus arising on the emotional wellbeing of an individual, and issues with mental health are now (thankfully) coming under the spotlight. The rise in personal health apps and gadgets reflects this, with many relying on tech as a way of monitoring their own wellbeing. It is nowadays common place to practice yoga with your mindfulness app during your lunch break at work. Even Heineken have signed the ‘Time to Change’ pledge; a public commitment to tackle mental health stigma.

Could you imagine scenes like this ten-fifteen years ago?What these statistics really highlight is a huge change to our UK demographic, and more importantly, a change that needs to be recognised and accommodated for.It's time to ask yourself- are you 'moving with the times?'No matter who your regular clientele is, you are going to encounter individuals with specific dietary requirements, regardless.Are you giving diners what they are want? If the answer is no, then they are going to be eating elsewhere.A constructive place to start is to look at the dishes you are currently offering and see what’s missing. Do you, for example, have a high protein breakfast option for those about to hit the gym? Or a low calorie main for those watching their daily allowances? Can you offer gluten free options now that an estimated 12% of the UK adhere to this diet, and do you provide non-dairy milk with your coffee?To reach out to these consumers, you should treat this like a checklist- the more variation of dietary requirements you can cover, the better.On the flip side, if you are certain you are providing a comprehensive and transparent menu but are still not seeing an increase in sales or footfall, then you may want to consider how you are marketing yourself.Getting the word out there that you can provide these dishes will ensure that those searching for them will find you. Reaching out directly to your customers is such an effective way of getting their attention; if you can say ‘hey! I can definitely deliver a delicious, nut and dairy free, low sugar cake for you’ before they even open your door, then you are onto a winner. At Kafoodle this is what we call our ‘mission’- ensuring people can #eatwithconfidence Our cloud-based system allows commercial kitchens to stay on top of their allergen and nutritional data, whilst communicating this seamlessly to diners and the wider team. If you would like to find out more about what we do, then we would love to talk with you. Annie at Annie.gladwell@kafoodle.com will be able to provide help and information for all enquiries.

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