Dining out has always been synonymous with indulging the taste buds and not worrying about those extra calories. But consumers today are concerned about more than just the taste of a food item. An increasing number of health problems and a fresh wave of health and wellness consciousness in the consumers has resulted in a demand for substituting outside food with healthier alternatives. Consumers are worried about calorie intake and are now focusing on eating right. The shift towards healthy food trends has led restaurants to offer healthy food alternatives to calorie-conscious consumers. This paradigm shift has introduced Health or Diet Cafes that are increasingly gaining popularity amongst the consumers.
The Growing Popularity Of Health Cafes
A sudden rise in the number of Low Carb Diet, Organic Diet, Vegetarian Diet, Keto Diet restaurants can be attributed to several reasons such as unhealthy lifestyle, hectic, and stressful working hours. Poor food habits have been the biggest threat to the health of consumers. Excessive intake of food that has high-calorie content and the presence of preservatives has added to health problems. With an increasing awareness about the effect of poor food habits on health and wellness, consumers want to switch to a healthier lifestyle that includes eating healthy as well. They are now focused on making their food choices with extreme care. On their part, restaurateurs have also shifted focus on innovating with healthier cuisines and launching health cafes that capitalize on the emerging health food trend.
Restaurants are changing the age-old notion that has been associated with outside food- it is unhealthy and that it cannot match homemade food in taste and nutritional value. FabCafe is one such health cafe that is breaking this notion. Replacing refined oil with clarified butter (ghee), white rice with brown rice, refined sugar with healthy substitutes like jaggery, honey, brown sugar, etc., FabCafe brings together health and taste, much to the delight of consumers.
Though eating good food motivates consumers towards leading a healthy lifestyle, but one of the main hurdles restaurateurs face is breaking the monotony that is associated with healthy eating. Debunking the boring tag associated with healthy food, Salad Story offers an enriching and delicious menu with fresh salads and thick smoothies to its consumers.
Changing Trends In The Consumer Preferences
A survey on Food Consumption trends revealed that the attributes of customers preferring healthy food have changed. Customer acquisition strategies of Nutrition and Health cafes typically begin with targeting consumers that were weight conscious. They chose dishes that were low in calorie content, fat-free and prepared with low levels of sugar and salt. However, general consumer expectations have now begun shifting towards food that contributes to their health and wellness. They are becoming more educated and well aware of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. Customers are increasingly demanding all-natural and organic foods that are devoid of preservatives and artificial flavors. They want to know the source of food that is being served to them. It is essential for consumers to understand whether the food they are consuming is fresh and organic. That is also how trends like vegetarianism and veganism are gaining popularity amongst consumers.
According to a National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) report, 73 percent of adults now prefer to eat healthy in restaurants. While weight-conscious people have been the apparent target market for health cafes, restaurateurs are segmenting the broader segment of health-conscious customers for better targeted and practical marketing efforts.
Millennials being one of the significant influencers for driving the growth of the restaurant industry are focusing on eating right and healthy. With their increasing disposable income and concern for a healthy lifestyle, restaurateurs are focusing on targeting them with healthy offerings. The eating habits of most corporate professionals are affected due to hectic work commitments. It makes them an ideal target market for nutrition cafes to offer wholesome and healthy meals. Nutrition cafes have a broad appeal for consumers that are on restricted or strict diets such as vegan diets, allergy-free diets, low carb diet, etc.
A Healthy Menu Approach
The trend of healthy food has made its presence felt in the restaurant space with large QSR players, fine dine, and cloud kitchens adopting a healthy or organic menu approach. Restaurants are recreating their menu by either introducing new and sturdier alternatives or innovating the existing menu by adding organic options such as vegan dishes prepared with less oil and spices, and no saturated fats.
Large restaurant chain, Carl’s Jr has introduced vegan burgers in select locations in the US Market as an alternative to their meat burgers. McDonalds has also introduced vegan burgers and new chicken-free McNuggets that have received an incredible response from customers. An Indian contemporary restaurant, Fire-The Park boasts a separate menu that offers organic dishes. The menu has been designed to source ingredients from local farmers and suppliers practicing environment-friendly techniques. Cloud Kitchen brand, Freshmenu, provides a daily refreshing menu with its raw materials procured carefully from local suppliers, after thorough quality checks.
Is Healthy The New Thing?
There has been a shift in mindset towards a healthy diet that plays a significant role in promoting health and wellness and significantly helps in weight loss. Nielsen’s survey on Global Health and Wellness suggested that 88% of the consumers who were polled for the survey said that they are willing to pay more for healthy food. For consumers, the food and beverages they consume today need to be a balanced choice in terms of organic ingredients with clean labels, promoting transparency. They are now expecting their food to meet the attributes of health, wellness, and sustainability.
Nutrition cafes AKA health cafe or diet cafes have elevated traditional dishes to a healthier level by incorporating organic and environment-friendly ingredients and measures. They satisfy not only their diners’ palates but also their lifestyles. Nutrition cafes can manage the balancing act by offering healthy food to consumers and promoting sustainability. With growing consumer preferences towards health and wellness, it is only a matter of time that the healthy food industry will expand and become a mainstream part of the F&B industry. The future of the health industry shines bright with health cafes set to take the center stage!