Sunday, September 1, 2013

Better for you Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Eco-Eating

Sprouts Farmers Market, Whole Foods have long been the choice of consumer in search of “Better for you” food.  In a new report titled the “Eco Eating Culinary Trend Mapping Report” by Packaged Facts outlines what they are finding the including edible packaging, familiar meat alternatives and authentic flavors.  Here is what the report found:
Edible Packaging: Forward-leaning entrepreneurs are already launching edible wrappers to help reduce the cost and impact of food packaging. Fruit, ice cream yogurt and even sandwiches will soon be available wrapped in innovation.
Protein-Packed Insects: The buzz is growing around tapping into the protein insects can readily provide a hungry planet. These critters are already an accepted part of many global cuisines; look for creative cooks and global environmental organizations to join in the rallying cry for more buggy bites.
Restaurant Gardens & Hotel Beehives: Fine dining chefs are joining hotel chains to plant rooftop gardens and raise honeybees to create ultra-local food supplies and inspire seasonal menus.
New Sustainable Seafood Choices: Chefs and restaurateurs at all levels are working with seafood certification boards to obtain sustainably raised seafood, whether from the ocean or a fish farm, and looking deeper into the sea for new types of fish, big and small, that can be transformed into delicious fare.
Grass-Fed Beef: A number of chain restaurants are leading the industry by securing grass-fed beef supplies for tacos, burgers and sandwiches, showing other companies that where there is a demand, a supply can rise to fulfill it. And with the cost of beef today, grass-fed costs have become enticingly competitive.
Meatless Family Meal: Campaigns like the one for Meatless Mondays have had a significant impact on foodservice institutions as well as on household habits. Home cooks are turning to meatless casseroles, one-pot meals, stews, pastas and bean-based dishes to feed their families in healthful and sustainable ways.
Today’s Tofu: This interest in non-animal protein has also fueled a growing trend for tofu, long a health food staple but now often seen as an authentic element of Asian cuisine as well as a flavorful base for meals of all kinds.
Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food should include more and more eco-progressive meals and meal component options. Restaurants, C-stores, and grocery stores must evolve with the consumer.  The retail consumer is dynamic not static and retailers that pay attention to trends in the movement of the consumer will be well prepared for success.
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