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The idea of “healthful” food is evolving, according to The New Healthful: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from Rockville, Md.-based market research publisher Packaged Facts and strategic food and beverage agency CCD Innovation.
As part of the United States’ renewed emphasis on promoting good health comes the focus on the presence of beneficial nutrients and the use of inherently nutritious foods, versus just eliminating or avoiding particular ingredients that may adversely affect health when eaten too much of, noted the report, which discussed the growth of new distribution outlets for healthful foods, giving consumers easier access and increased choices.
“‘Healthful’ doesn’t mean bland anymore, nor is it segregated to a separate supermarket aisle or area on a menu,” explained Kimberly Egan, CEO of San Francisco-based CCD Innovation. “Healthful foods and beverages are more integrated into our foodscape, just as producers, manufacturers and retailers are integrating their efforts around a common goal of good-tasting, good-for-us food and drink.”
The “New Healthful” movement, as the report calls it, depends on cooperation from the likes of students, parents, farmers, chefs, food businesses and technology innovators, as well as both local and global entrepreneurs, to create new and better food choices for all.
Employing CCD Innovation’s proprietary five-stage Trend Mapping technique, the report examines foods that take the “healthful” halo to new levels, both in terms of ingredients and sustainability. The result was seven trends spread across the spectrum of the five Trend Mapping stages, with Stage 1 signifying a trend that’s just gaining traction, while Stage 5 indicates complete absorption into the mainstream and presence on quick-service menus and grocery store shelves.
Trends covered include customized healthful beverages (Stage 1), locally sourced heirloom whole grains (Stage 1), breakfasts enriched with vegetables and legumes (Stage 2), vegan selections (Stage 3), chef-inspired fare for children (Stage 4), and meatless burger options (Stage 5).
The New Healthful: Culinary Trend Mapping Report is available online.