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The Rise of a New Trend: Superfoods

Superfoods are the influential new trend that has taken over the food industry. A nutritionally dense food that is mostly plant-based, superfoods may also include select fish and dairy products. The food industry is being revolutionised with this healthy twist of nutrient-rich food choices. Superfoods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The recently published Superfoods Market Report 2020, predicts market growth for superfoods of 7% CAGR globally.

 

Superfoods have several benefits including weight loss, promoting brain health, skincare, boosting immunity and improving gut health. The target market includes health-conscious people who are focused on personal well being. But if you ask the industry experts, superfoods are just a marketing term coined for foods with health benefits.

 

Dark-green leafy vegetables, different types of berries, avocados, dark chocolate, green tea, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds are the most popular inclusions into this category of superfoods. Even seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, mackerel and certain other fatty fish are considered to fall in the category. They are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

 

NPD Group recently identified six emerging superfoods based on customer interests and they include Elderberry, CBD, Mānuka honey, Reishi mushrooms and Microgreens. They all have exceptional health benefits and can help boost the immune system as well.

Why Should Restaurants Offer Superfoods?

 

For any business to succeed, it's crucial to adapt to consumer demand. With more and more consumers switching over to a healthy lifestyle, superfoods are in high demand. The rising trend has prompted restaurants to be creative and innovate with their menus to include dishes that feature superfoods. The market segment for superfoods is becoming larger by the day and it's impacting the dining choices customers make. Restaurant owners need to embrace this trend and act quickly. 

 

As consumers make an informed switch to superfoods, they are well aware of the health benefits. Research has indicated that incorporating superfoods into a diet plan is an ideal choice.  Besides the health benefits mentioned above, others include:

 

  • Vitamins A and E and beta carotene, which are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds.
  • They help reduce the risk of heart disease and boost the immune system.
  • Some superfoods, like CBD, can treat pain, anxiety and insomnia too.
  • When incorporated into a well-balanced diet, superfoods have an impressive effect on weight loss, improve energy levels and can slow the effects of ageing.

 

Many restaurants have ventured beyond common superfruits such as açai and goji berries. Even quick-service restaurants have started featuring ancient grain salads and more plant-based choices. During the past four years, mentions of the term “superfood” have grown by over 300%. Chefs are exploring creative avenues to include lesser-known ingredients that are healthy, add flavour and improve their restaurant's bottom line. Fresh ingredients are being used to create enticing breakfasts, brunches or sharing plates and cocktails. The global superfoods market has become an extremely competitive space. Analysts are forecasting steady growth and increased profitability for restaurants who add palatable dishes with superfoods to their menus. The growing number of all-organic restaurants globally are educating consumers to make a healthy shift without compromising on the flavour and taste. They use nutrient-rich ingredients to provide all the necessary nourishment. From spiced pumpkin-oatmeal cookies to salmon with lemon and capers, restaurant menus are being redefined to incorporate the growing demand for delicious superfoods.

Superfood - SaladplateSuperfood - Saladplate

Superfood Success Stories

 

As competition among restaurants offering superfoods increases, they are trying to innovate with the dishes served, trying to build their product portfolio by adding appetising dishes. If you are a restauranteur looking for some inspiration, here are some success stories: 

 

Starbucks Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal is one of the popular superfood dishes that has wowed its customers. The meal includes steel-cut oats, rolled oats, fresh blueberries, and optional fruit, nut, and seed medley toppings too. Starbucks is promoting its product range based on nutritional status and its broad taste appeal.

 

Another successful implementation of superfoods was done at Beaming Cafes in California. Here, consumers get to enjoy superfood smoothies, build their own superfood trail mix bars and even enjoy a superfood porridge bar.

 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe added a superfood spin to its menu by including sandwiches on nine-grain Wheat bread. It also added Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad and Turkey Guacamole, which have become customer favourites. Although not fully a healthy-food cafe, it has made a conscious decision to meet the growing customer demand for healthy options. It focuses on serving its diners with flavourful superfoods in smart combinations.

 

Freshii is another international franchise that has done really well in the superfoods space. Targeting customers who are looking to make nutritious choices, Freshii is always looking for new superfood ingredients and flavours to make its menu items more interesting.

Freshii Restaurant - SaladplateFreshii Restaurant - Saladplate
Shutterstock: Freshii Restaurant

What's notable is that customers are willing to pay more for good nutritious choices. Diners appreciate restaurants that provide them with healthy choices without compromising on the taste and experience.

Superfoods may not be instantly popular among the mainstream audience, but they are constantly evolving and growing. Restaurants globally have identified this rapidly growing trend and started adapting to the changing needs of their consumers. Having healthier eating options on the menu helps serve a wider base of customers. So far, this year has seen an increase in demand for the whole host of superfoods, including cottage cheese, seaweed and sardines. While superfoods continue to trend, restaurateurs need to find a way to spice up their menus with nutrient-dense characteristics.

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