As more and more consumers seek out the benefits of a healthy, often more veggie-centric diet, how can caterers, cafes and the like (foodservice industry) create dishes to accommodate these health-savvy eaters?
The desire to seek more healthier food choices is driving menus across the country as consumers are adopting a more flexible, veggie-centric diet as well as looking to new ingredients alongside ancient grains, seeds and pulses. Gone are the days when the old-fashioned meat and three veg with a token veggie pasta dominated the menu*.
The rise of the “vegievore”** (love of vegetables) and “flexitarian”** (diet occasionally includes meat or fish) means that consumers are experimenting more with new foods and are a lot more conscious of what’s on their plate. As more people are adopting this flexible approach to their diet, they are also becoming less afraid to try something different. What may have started as a fad many years ago, is creeping into mainstream menus with Industry leaders describing this menu change as a ‘sign of the times’.
That doesn’t mean meal and veggie options must be boring, Mintel states, “foodservice operations can build on the well-established trend of fresh and local to create veggie-centric meals”. In addition, with the introduction of new ingredients and ancient grains, the industry is well placed to cater to consumers seeking out healthy alternatives. It’s time to make healthier dishes, including vegetarian options, truly delicious not just servable.
Readymade pastry is one easy way to combine delicious tasting dishes with a focus on vegetables as simple pies, tarts and parcels can be filled with seasonally fresh fruit and vegetables, not only appealing to the growing vegievore and flexitarian but also helping your menu stay fresh and appealing. If health is a priority, then build on your credentials by using the nutritionally packed and simple to use Spelt Readymade Pastry. Not only is this pastry robust and easy to handle, making it the ideal accompaniment for any catering function, its lovely nutty flavour allows you to be bold in the kitchen with interesting new dishes delivering a power punch to the taste buds.
* http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/69369/ Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite, “Vegetables Are the New Meat”, New York Magazine, 7 November 2010