Think back 20 years ago to when the first generation of gluten-free products hit the shelves. Now think about the first generation of plant-based meat alternatives we have seen over the past few years. Are you thinking like many of us nice try, but what about the taste, texture, and positive nutrition? Both sectors have nutrient density on trend in common. Well, the gluten-free market got it together and today, they are producing delicious, nutritious products with desired textures. There is hope for the alternative meat sector to follow the gluten-free lead and create better products to appeal to larger market.
Positive nutrition and nutrient density are topics I’ve been discussing for a while now in my interviews, Bakers Journal Column, Grow with Nutrition Blog, at events, and on podcasts. Nutrient dense foods are front and centre as we navigate post pandemic. New Nutrition Business has named Nutrient Density a trend in their Annual Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health for 2022. Let’s find out more about nutrient density on trend.
What is Nutrient Density?
Not to be confused with energy density, nutrient density refers to foods that contain a higher level of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients with little or no added sugars or fats that raise calories. An example includes seeds. Whereas energy dense foods contain a higher number of calories per serving, but not always made up of positive nutrients. An example is candy.
Now, we are looking at other platforms leading to nutrient density including regenerative agriculture and soil health. For example, livestock that are part of regenerative agriculture farming practices may produce more nutrient-rich meat and milk.
Nutrient Density Communications
There is a fragmented consumer market when it comes to understanding human nutrition and science-based information. Many Millennials and Generation Zs want to be part of the food story. Therefore, they take information that best suits their personal brand or beliefs whether it is health forward or not. As a health professional, we have been discussing nutrient density for decades. Similarly, now we are seeing it used as marketing tool. As we navigate out of a global health crisis, people are more aware and open to nutrient density and how eating impacts their health.
Bottomline for Nutrient Density on Trend Opportunities
Opportunities for health and well-being post pandemic are abundant. Eating well and staying active are more important than ever as we navigate beyond the global pandemic. It has and continues to be challenging adjusting to this transition period. As a result, consumers are open to foods that deliver better nutrient density. Most importantly, companies should be transparent. Also, they can shift their communication strategies about nutrient density especially, in the meat alternative market to engage a larger consumer segment.
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