In recent years, the food industry has experienced a tremendous change in consumer demand. Health and wellness has become an increasingly important focus for millions of Americans. Health and wellness touches many areas of life, from exercise to mental health to food. Many consumers have significantly changed their diet to accommodate this trend and live a healthier lifestyle.
There are two popular diets that have gained significant popularity. The first one is the vegetarian diet, which is based on eliminating all meat consumption. Vegetarians will typically eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables. According to Medical News Today, the vegetarian diet provides the following health benefits:
- Lower Body Weight
- Improved Cholesterol Levels
- Less Risk of Cancer
Food industry consultants Baum and Whiteman estimated in a 2018 study that over 30% of Americans don’t eat meat one day a week, and that more than 80% are increasing their consumption of plant-based foods. This eating trend provides restaurant operators with an opportunity to add vegetarian options to the menu to increase their sales through delicious, meat-free dishes.
The second diet that has recently become mainstream is the gluten-free diet. The gluten-free diet eliminates all foods that contain the protein gluten, which is predominantly found in wheat. The Mayo Clinic states that the gluten-free diet is linked to greater overall health, improved weight loss, and higher energy levels.
Restaurants can take advantage of the increased popularity of these diets by adding vegetarian and gluten-free selections to their menu. Restaurant operators can attract vegetarian eaters to their location by promoting the addition of an Impossible Burger, which is a delicious, meatless burger patty. To help appeal to gluten-free eaters, restaurants can add dishes that substitute traditional wheat products, such as bread and pasta, for gluten-free alternatives. Having dishes with gluten-free bread and pasta allows gluten-free eaters to indulge in your restaurant’s best plates while adhering to their dietary restrictions.
When a family of five or six goes out to eat, there is a strong likelihood that one of them will have specific dietary demands. Restaurants that cannot meet the demands of a vegetarian or gluten-free eater could very well be subject to the “veto” vote and miss out on potential customers. Having a menu that can satisfy different eating preferences helps position a restaurant to maximize their sales.