It’s Nutrition Month so what better time to take a closer look at what we can expect to see more of on our shelves, plates and shopping lists this year? We know the pandemic (yes, we still need to talk about it) has had a dramatic impact on our food habits and the way we consider what we put in our bodies, and that’s no major surprise. As we attempt to exit the shackles of covid-related restrictions, taking care of ourselves is here to stay and it’s showing in the hot products and foods being tipped as the best sellers for 2022.
We recently talked about the nostalgic foods making a comeback and much like our commitment to looking back, some of the nutrition trends we see coming up for this year are a bit of a throwback, or back to basics approach – let’s dive in.
This is nothing new, but our passion for getting a little bit of everything we need to stay in tip-top shape is back with a vengeance. Expect to see more ‘contains your daily dose of (insert vitamin here)’ on food to go items such as snack pots, smoothies and more. This doesn’t mean turning to the bottle of supplement tablets though, it means we’re all paying more attention to what contains the all important elements our body needs- think getting in your vitamin C and D from things like fish, nuts, specific fruits such as oranges and strawberries.
The quest to explore and utilise historic and lesser-known grains continues. As we focus on broadening our diets and diversifying to help with sustainability and crop viability, this cannot be overlooked. Regenerative agriculture, as it is known, refers to the conscious rehabilitation and regeneration of soil, farming land with sustainability in mind. Through this practice we see the utilisation of different crops, which can help us sustain our diets and tastes in a more diverse way which benefits the planet. There are many lesser-used grains that can be used and farmed to create the products we know and love, such as kamut, buckwheat, farro and more.
From drinks with purpose, to banning the booze, what we drink, as well as what we eat is moving up our ‘what matters’ list. Think smoothies that actually support immune health – reducing sugar, swapping ingredients out with a view to what performs together (the way that certain pairings boost the efficacy of each other when combined, like turmeric and black pepper). Beyond that, we still want to play hard, without paying hard for our fun, so non-alcoholic drinks, mocktails are becoming commonplace in shops and on menus.
Eating to feed our brains is another major contender for this year. We’re used to talking about gut health these days, but brain power is huge and there’s lots of ways we can eat with this in mind. Mind fuel includes a diverse range of things such as oily fish, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fruit with antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory properties such as blueberries. Expect to see increased healthy options on menus for both to-go and dine-in experiences.
What do trends like these mean for Billington Group and our development kitchen?
As a group committed to the creation, manufacture and delivery/supply of tasty foods to retail, hospitality and more trends are something we must always keep an eye on. How consumers choose to eat and shop determines our success, so we have to stay ahead of the curve. Our Billington Barn and Kitchen is where our chefs take all this information and combine it with their wealth of expertise to offer pubs and stores options that meet demand. So, we’ll be busy ensuring that the post-pandemic focus on health and wellbeing is represented in a range of tasty meals, snacks and more – but don’t worry, we’ll keep working on the treats too!