It is fitting that Worldchefs and Nestle Professional have chosen the theme of “healthy food for the future” for International Chef Day 2020. Against the backdrop of the health crisis, the trend of mindful eating has gained momentum – and for good reason. People are increasingly seeking to boost their immune system as defense against COVID-19.
After analyzing market data, the LSG Group’s trend experts identified “Mindfulness” as one of the five umbrella trends in the 2020 Trend Report. Google Trends also reported a surge in the number of searches for “vitamin C” and “immune system” in the middle of March. This coincides with a similar uptick in searches for “COVID-19”.
So what exactly is the future of health food? “We’re seeing a movement towards the marrying of science and wellness,” said Sunbul Dubuni. Director Customer Insights and trend expert at LSG Group. The global pandemic has boosted the interest in the search for healthy and innovative ingredients. Collaborations with nutritional scientists are growing, and as Dubuni added, there is growing analysis on traditional holistic medicine. The Ayurveda practice, for example, is part of the research at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals.
This holistic approach also extends to observing a truly balanced diet – which also includes indulgent food. “Food has the power to create different moods and connect people, both physically and virtually,” noted Dubuni. “In uncertain times like these, people want company and a meal that fits their mood, whether it’s to strengthen their body or to indulge.”
Such intuitive eating means that an otherwise healthy diet, which includes probiotics and vitamins, has its place alongside an ice cream cake.
Jörg Hofmann, Head of Global Culinary Excellence and chef, added: “Our job is to create a dish that nourishes but also makes, in our case, the passenger feel good.” This means utilizing ingredients or products that boost the immune system, like the FlyYourVeda® concept launched in 2017. What is important is that the meal has to fit the mood and tell a story to the end consumer.
As Hofmann said: “There is a science behind cooking, but food is an emotional experience.”