The Better-for-You category has evolved into a thriving sector in the foodservice industry, following slowly in the footsteps of retail. Whole Foods, Central Market, Sprouts, and a number of other retail grocery chains have been leading the way in Better-for-You foods for quite some time. These companies have successfully gone mainstream because they were ahead of the game and had their finger on the pulse of the American consumer. Foodservice distributors such as Sysco and US Foods have taken heed and are actively seeking manufacturers specializing in Better-for-You products.
So what is Better-for-You? Better-for-You can mean different things to different people. No longer does Better-for-You encompass diet fads such as low fat or low carb, but a host of many attributes involved with overall health and wellness in addition to the personal values of consumers. Some Better-for-You trends for 2017 include:
- Certified organic
- Non-GMO certified
- Clean labels
- No hormones, antibiotics, or additives
- Plant-based and meat alternatives
- Sprouted and ancient grains
- Less processing
- Sustainably produced
- Humane animal welfare
- Environmentally friendly
- Buying local and fresh
- Food waste
In recent years, consumers have advocated for transparency in their food supply chain and corporate social responsibility. According to Technomic (technomic.com), if an established foodservice brand earns a reputation for putting profits above the planet, people, animals, communities, or food, consumers will find it hard to continue to support those companies. As a result they will start spending their money on those brands and companies more aligned to their values and what they consider Better-for-You. This trend is predicted only to grow thanks in part to Millennials and Generation Z, who are well-versed in health and nutrition from their parents and having the information readily available at their fingertips with smart phones, social media, and the internet.
Small, nimble food manufacturers are predicted to chip away at market share of the “mass-produced” brands. These small and emerging companies with big ideas, often viewed as more authentic than large corporations, have a story or passion to share with their consumers. They produce foods with Better-for-You attributes because they believe in a cause and support the need for more transparency and corporate social responsibility in our food supply chain.
Presenture is a national foodservice sales agency specializing in doing what no one else does, representing emerging foodservice manufacturers. We interact with our clients and customers in fresh ways, embracing new technology and processes while aligning our resources with those of our manufacturer-clients. By leveraging our culture, people, and systems, Presenture provides a complete foodservice solution that includes strategic planning, a managed national broker network, and critical support services to the industry.
Below are the links to the some of our newly represented small companies with big ideas:
- Vibrant Health Products www.vibranthealthproducts.com
- High Road Craft Ice Cream www.highroadcraft.com
- Divvies www.divvies.com
Authors: April Spears & Michael O. Maher