One of the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that more Americans than ever are trying to live healthier lives and eat healthier food. This has led to a whole new set of trends in the food industry that favor higher-quality and better-for-you ingredients that provide a wide array of health benefits. Whether it’s plant-based, organic, preservative-free, sustainably produced, lower calorie, or simply more nutrient dense, consumers of all types are looking for new food products that support their vision of healthier eating.
Why Is Health a Current Priority?
Various surveys from recent years have shown that most Americans want to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle in general—even if they don’t always find a way to make it happen. One of the biggest reasons for this desire is the emphasis COVID-19 forced us all to put on immune system health. All the continuous research that shows a connection between diet and health suddenly came rushing to the front of everyone’s consciousness and led to a reevaluation of what we eat and how it is made.
In the wake of the pandemic, consumers in general are more savvy at deciphering food labels and learning about the kinds of compounds and nutrients that make healthy food healthy. Commercial food manufacturers have of course been noticing this trend and routinely come up with new products that cater to these desires. This includes companies like Silva that produce premium, ready-to-eat ingredients that are used in countless applications. Because rather than just new colorful labels and packaging, consumers are interested in demonstrably healthier products that are made from high quality, plant-based foods for themselves and even for their pets.
Body Weight and Looking Healthy
One of the most consistently popular motivations for healthy eating is the desire to lose excess body weight. While this has been true for much of modern American history, the pressures of looking good on social media have prompted many people to avoid foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS, otherwise known as junk food). As a response, food manufacturers have developed a huge variety of products that are geared toward people who want to lose weight without having to resort to “health food.”
Traditionally, health foods have been viewed with skepticism in terms of flavor and texture, but consumers now expect food to be simultaneously delicious and healthy. As information about what goes into the food production process has become more widely available, people are on the lookout for things like trans fats, added sugars, sodium, and cholesterol. This has made products with both fresh and dehydrated plant-based ingredients more popular and sought-after by consumers who have educated themselves on foods that are better and worse for their health.
Mood and Mental Health
Another category of motivation in the trend toward better-for-you foods is related to mental health and how people feel emotionally on a daily basis. Food has long been connected to our emotional state, but consumers are seeking out options that can help improve cognition and one’s overall sense of wellness. That is why leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach have become common components of traditional dishes as well as smoothies and snacks; kale in particular is believed to be a great source of compounds that support brain health and prevent age-related cognitive decline.
In addition to affecting what we eat and what it’s made of, the pandemic also led to changes in how much we eat and when we eat. Instead of the three formal meals per day that has been a cultural norm for generations, more people eat four or more smaller meals or even just graze on snacks throughout the day. This has put even more emphasis on snack foods being robust sources of nutrients as well as being perceived as “healthy.” A perfect example of a healthy food that regularly gets repurposed for snacks is the sweet potato, a nutrient-rich tuber that can be used in snack chips, baked goods, or a number of other applications.
Silva’s Good-for-You Promise
Even before the pandemic and the renewed interest in healthy eating, Silva was driven by our good-for-you promise. Not only are we passionate about providing quality, all-natural ingredients, but we also want to make sure our clients get a trustworthy partner who cares about their needs. Our expert team always takes a YES approach to partnering with you and making sure you get the right ingredients to consistently deliver winning products to your customers. To us, good-for-you includes “better for you” both in terms of dietary health and your brand and business.
How does Silva consistently deliver on this promise? It all starts with flexible global sourcing and supply chain management of high quality produce. Once the produce enters our state-of-the-art processing facility, we use the latest technology to clean and sort raw materials before cutting them to the specified size. After accommodating your desired product blend, the mix is treated to ensure both quality and food safety so that the final product meets your needs and expectations. If you’d like to learn more about how Silva’s good-for-you promise can work well for you, please contact us to speak with our knowledgeable team.