With the world at their fingertips, consumers are constantly searching for popular recipes and menu models tailored to fit their dietary preferences. In 2018, “dinner recipes” was the top searched item on Pinterest alone, according to Hootsuite. To keep up with evolving trends, it is essential for brands to create appealing, nutritious products and recipes for consumers. FoodMinds’ team of 20+ registered dietitians is uniquely poised to navigate the nutrition landscape and health and wellness trends impacting brands. We help companies analyze recipes and develop menu models by incorporating products into healthy eating patterns to suit any brand’s needs.
Get the Scoop: Connecting Nutrition Recommendations and Consumer Values
Recipes and menu models serve as creative and tangible ways to engage with consumers. Providing real-life examples of how a branded product can be incorporated into a novel recipe or throughout the day as part of a nutrient-dense eating pattern helps to illustrate how it can fit into one’s personal lifestyle.
- Recipe Analysis – Recipes and ingredients are analyzed using an expansive nutrition analysis software program called The Food Processor®, which has the ability to compare against a variety of nutrition guidance criteria. Recipes can be referenced against an existing nutrition benchmark, or one can be developed to elevate a brand’s leadership and nutrition guidance strategy.
- Menu Modeling – The creation of sample daily and/or multi-day menus illustrate how a food or ingredient can be enjoyed in the context of various healthy, evidence-based meal patterns (e.g., the Mediterranean diet), calorie ranges or budgets.
At FoodMinds, we harness nutrition science and navigate trends to help meet growing consumer needs. We do so by demonstrating the nutritional impact and usage of foods and beverages to both internal and external audiences and by providing the framework for marketing teams to create credible communications materials.
Harnessing the Power of Recipe Analysis & Menu Modeling to Intersect with Ever-Evolving Nutrition Trends and Food Policy
We’ve all seen the media headlines dishing 2020’s hottest food and nutrition trends. Here’s our top predictions and insight on how to leverage them:
- Plant Power: Plant-forward products continue to enter and crowd supermarket shelves, and are a key driver of growth among grocery retailers nationwide. In fact, the plant-based market is worth almost $4.5 billion according to SPINS, with 15% of all food and beverage sales derived from products that support plant-based diets (NielsenHomescan, 2019). We expect to see recipes and menu models incorporating more plant-forward foods, and even include branded products that fall within specific plant-based food categories, such as plant-based milk, meat and creamer.
- It’s Getting Personal: Long gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach. Consumers crave products and services tailored to the individual level, creating a demand for more innovation in the health and wellness space. Recipes and menu models that offer a variety of individual selections or “swaps,” such as avocado for mayonnaise or riced cauliflower for white rice, are gaining steam.
- The Digital Demand: All things digital permeate our daily lives, from Amazon Alexa providing weather updates, to Twitter as a source of breaking global news. As our world evolves to become more digitally-centered, so too, do recipes and menu models. While both are readily available and shareable online, they are likely to become increasingly interactive and ‘clickable’ (e.g., interactive grocery checklist).
- Moving Beyond Allergen Labeling: Products that were originally formatted and marketed as allergy-friendly have shifted to meet the food values of the conscious consumer. “Free from,” a label no longer limited to common allergens, now spans a variety of lifestyle choices such as ketogenic and reduced sugar product options. A handful of nutrition analysis software programs in today’s marketplace have the capability to add these types of labels to nutrition facts labels associated with recipe analysis projects.
- Alignment with 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), Pregnancy and Birth to 24 Months (P/B-24) & Sustainability Initiatives: With a national population projected to hit 420 million in 2060, our food system must nourish and sustain a growing population while protecting resources and planetary health. A focus on comprehensive food patterns and consideration of including nutrition for pregnancy and from birth to 24 months of age in the 2020-2025 DGAs warrants the development of recipes and menu models that meet these future guidelines and take these vulnerable populations into consideration.
Although food and nutrition trends will continue to be ever-changing, nutrition analysis will remain a constant in the quest for brands to satisfy consumer needs and meet strategic business objectives.
Lindsay MacNab, MS, RD is a senior account executive s at FoodMinds, a division of Padilla. She is based in Chicago.
Tara Linitz, MS, RD is a senior account executive at FoodMinds, a division of Padilla. She is based in San Francisco.