If there’s one food trend to bank on in 2019, mindful eating is your best bet. People are becoming more mindful not only about what they put into their bodies to nourish them, but also about sustaining the environment. Workplace canteens should expand their offerings to include fresh, sustainable meals that will keep employees healthy, happy and productive.
Food waste is another concern that occupies consumers this year, and one of the reasons employees are finding buffet-style lunch options unappealing. Not only are people reluctant to stand in lines waiting for their food; there is a far greater demand for dishes that are freshly prepared to order – they’re more appetising and there’s less likelihood of mounds of food going to waste. The paper straw movement is an additional indication that health and wellness is about more than what you put into your body.
Equally important in your workplace canteen is mindfulness around allergies and special dietary requirements. To this end, gluten and dairy-free choices have become menu must-haves, as have Kosher and Halaal options.
Plant-based foods are becoming increasingly popular on menus – and not only for those who choose not to eat meat. These foods are associated with feeling alert and ready to engage, which is essential for employees during the workday. Menu options to feed this craving include snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables, edamame beans, popcorn, tofu, veggie burgers, fresh salads and poké bowls.
Popular low-fat menu offerings include turkey, chicken or salmon, while some chefs are bringing back the carbs in the form of heritage breads with long fermentation processes, such as sourdough.
That’s not to say the old favourites have been kicked to the corner. People love comfort food as much as ever, with home-made soups, sandwiches and good old mac & cheese still going strong.
Ultimately, 2019 is about freshness and simplicity; healthy choices that make you feel good about yourself and your world.