People are looking to establish a new pace of life, with more balance between work, family, leisure, and sleep. This presents many challenges as we establish new patterns, but also greater opportunities for products that support and facilitate this, with the hope for a healthier, happier, more considerate future.
Fermented foods – everything from yogurt and cheese to soy sauce, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir - have come under the spotlight as people understand the relationship between having healthy gut bacteria to aid digestion, our immune system and even clarity of thinking and positive mood. I expect to see more recipes and finished products using these as they work their way into our life. I also expect too, more people making these at home, along with sourdough breads and preparing and cooking dishes using slow cooking methods as they work to keep a work life balance and hang onto scratch, home cooking as life gets busier again.
Being more proactive about our wellbeing and choosing foods that can contribute to that, such as supplementing our diets with products like pre and probiotics and adding functional foods (foods that contain one or more added ingredients to provide a positive health benefit) continue to create opportunities for everyday food items in the mainstream containing adaptogens like reishi mushrooms, and ingredients like CBD in clean soft drinks.
Brewing a cup of tea using loose leaf tea or a tea bag is experiencing a comeback as the 5 minutes from preparation to consumption can give your day a natural pause and allow you to switch off, not to mention the antioxidants in a cup of black or green tea. In addition, younger people who are becoming tea consumers are keen to understand the social, environmental and economic effects of what they drink, creating opportunities to move outside a totally transactional purchase that opens doors for tea gardens selling direct to consumer and those brands selling single origin teas.
There has been an increase in interest in an approach to beauty which is about ‘beauty from within’, eating foods which are associated with help in enhancing radiant skin, strong healthy hair or bright eyes etc, rather than applying creams or treatments on the surface. This BBC Good Food article highlights foods in your kitchen that could help you look younger and more vibrant: (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-glowing-skin)
Having fallen back in love with being at home, while we are delighted to get out again, it seems too we are going to be at home more, by choice for the foreseeable future. So, what is in and out then?
- Not so good for prepacked sandwiches, breakfast biscuits or single serve pot lunches perhaps.
- A great opportunity for foods with clear provenance, particularly British grown fruit and veg, British meat, sustainable fish and seafood.
- Meal kits and recipes, spice mixes and clean sauces that help us to continue to hone cookery skills and combine food prep with some days back in the office again.
- We have all fallen in love with the outdoors too, so food that can be quickly packed and taken to share with friends on a walk, in the park or even round the BBQ in warmer weathers...simple, casual food where the focus is on sharing it rather than how long it took to make.
- Great opportunities for brands to use their social media to give us these sorts of quick, tasty, flexible recipe ideas.
We had an opportunity to stop or pause our life and become more aware of how fast paced it was, how we often took health for granted and how reactive we were to illness rather than proactive in preventing it through good nutrition, wellness and plenty of sleep. It is a constant balance we have to strike but one that provides great opportunities for the food and drink industry to come up with products that genuinely help us achieve this