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4 ways to appeal to health conscious consumers in 2022

Insights | 13 January 2022 | Holly Rogers

For many people, health is now higher on the agenda than it’s ever been. Our bespoke research showed us that over 1 in 3 people are making an effort to be healthier now than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic began*.

But people still want to be able to enjoy eating and drinking out with friends and family, or even grabbing some food on-the-go out of sheer convenience, at the same time.

This is evidenced by the fact that nearly half of people (46%) consciously look for healthy options on menus either most or all of the time*.

Not only that, 1 in 4 people (24%) see it as such a necessity that they would go somewhere else if there was no healthy option on a menu*.

But health trends and diets come and go, so in order to create menus that hit the mark with health conscious consumers in 2022, it’s important that operators understand what consumers are prioritising right now when they’re trying to be healthier. We surveyed consumers to find out.

 

The top things people said were*:

  1. Counting calories and/or sugar content (53%)
  2. Drinking low calorie/low sugar drinks (37%)
  3. Limiting alcohol intake (33%), and a fifth (21%) were drinking no or low alcohol options
  4. Following a specific diet (26%)

So, we’ve come up with some top tips on creating an appealing offer for the health-conscious consumer in 2022:

 

1. Make your dishes customisable

Offering add-ons or ingredient swaps to some of your key dishes can help ensure you’re catering for those following specific diets, whilst maintaining a streamlined menu.

Are there lower-calorie fillings and wraps you could offer as alternatives in your signature taco dish? Or, could you offer an optional added protein portion for those wanting a substantial meal but avoiding carbs?

Extras like this can be a great way to upsell. Plus, if your customers have reassurance that they don’t need to break their diets in order to dine out, they’re likely to visit more often!

 

2. An exciting drinks menu isn’t all about the alcohol

We’ve seen that a substantial portion of people look to cut their alcohol intake when they’re trying to be healthier.

And with more people choosing to go tee-total in general, an exciting non-alcoholic drinks menu is becoming an essential. 43% of consumers say that if there’s a new drink on the menu they’ve not tried before they’re likely to try it*.

So, offering premium and unique mocktails and non-alcoholic spritzers could encourage a higher spend vs. a standard soft drinks menu. Going back to our first top tip, you could consider offering customisable mocktails too.

Those who aren’t drinking alcohol may be more encouraged to stay longer, and spend more, if they’re enjoying the drinking occasion.

Offering close alternatives to alcohol with 0% spirits like Clean Co. gin can really appeal to those wanting to replicate the drinking experience.

 

3. Provide some lower calorie options, and make sure you highlight them

Our research showed us that 1 in 4 people now believe that low calorie dishes are an essential for an eating and drinking venue to offer*.

And with over half of health-conscious consumers looking to cut down on calories and/or sugar content, lower calorie meals are definitely something to consider adding to your menu.

Whether it’s through smaller portions or lighter ingredients, highlighting these options on menus can not only boost your appeal amongst health-conscious consumers, but it can also encourage more regular visits and show your customers that they can still enjoy eating out without jeopardising their healthy diet intentions.

Moreover, as the Calorie Labelling legislation comes into place on 6th April 2022, many businesses will be required to display the calorie content of the food and drink they sell. So, emphasising the calorie contents of your dishes can be a great way to get ahead of the game

 

4. Consider adding some global flavours and cuisines

Going healthy doesn’t need to be boring. And it doesn’t always have to mean ordering a salad.

Creating lighter, yet exciting dishes can be done by using fresh, nutritious ingredients and alternative cooking styles. Our research showed that 6 in 10 people say they like trying venues that offer new and interesting cuisines and food types*.

So why not include some unique dishes and cuisines that are typically associated with health credentials, like South East Asian or dishes from the Pacific Rim?

Check out our 2022 trend Flavours Less Travelled for some inspiration on emerging cuisines, and recipes like our Hawaiian poke bowl.

 

Explore our 2022 Food and Drink Trends to find out more about the key things consumers are prioritising this year, and how you can make sure you’re hitting the mark with your menu.

 

Sources:
*CGA and Bidfood bespoke consumer survey, September 2021

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