Unilever`s – "Seductive Nutrition" – Where Healthy Meets Tasty!
In today’s world we find many of us start focusing on the healthier options. The problem with that being is that 9 times out of 10 the healthy option is most of the time less appealing or the price tag attached seems to be more than an arm and a leg.
This could very well be the reason why one billion adults are overweight and there are a staggering 300 million cases of obesity worldwide. This figure will rise to 1.5 billion by 2015 unless all parties, including the food service industry, take action now. Locally in South Africa, 68% of the population is overweight and 33.5% are considered obese.
A great way to begin this is by producing healthier choices, NOT just lettuce and tomato salad. When people go out, they generally want to feel like they are being “treated”. New findings from the World Menu Report highlight that chefs and operators are not meeting their guests’ needs. Guests want the best of both worlds – healthier options on menus (66%) and a treat when eating out (72%). However, most healthy options are considered to be second rate - less appetizing (43%), too expensive (57%), and not very filling (45%).
When consumers were asked what changes they would like restaurants and eateries to make, the top six most popular requests were:
- · Adding plenty of vegetables (34%)
- · Lowering fat content (32%)
- · Reducing portion sizes (26%)
- · Grilling or baking (22%)
- · Using fresh ingredients (20%)
- · Lowering the calorie content (19%)
“Seductive Nutrition” is about steering the food industry into the direction of making healthier foods more tasty by using less fats, oils, decreasing portion size and by adding more aromatic spices instead of salt, bake and grill meats in their own juices as opposed to fried or deep fried as well as providing more healthier side options (Vegetables, tasty salad choice, cous-cous, baked potato etc.) As a main one could have the option of Line-caught steamed trout, spicy, grilled root vegetables with an authentic Italian garlic and olive oil dressing. In a unique piece of research, people in 10 countries, including South Africa, were presented with a healthy dish described on two menus – one ‘neutral’ and the second more ‘seductive’. In 9 of the 10 countries surveyed, people were more inclined to choose that dish from the latter menu. The way one describes the dish is key to how well it is perceived by the customer.
Keegan Eichstadt, Assistant Nutrition & Health Manager of Unilever Food Solutions South Africa says: “Eating a little bit healthier every time we dine out – through ‘Seductive Nutrition’ – could have a significant long-term impact on South African diner’s overall health. Reducing as little as 25-50 calories from a dish can prevent long term weight gain in a large proportion of people. Attaining a healthy lifestyle requires wise choices when eating, including food prepared away from home. As food choices play a significant role in the development of cardiovascular disease, it is vital for South Africans to have access to healthier food options when eating out. This can play a major role in helping reduce the obesity pandemic and the burden of cardiovascular disease in South Africa.”
Vreeken continues: “Ultimately, this means that guests get the best of both worlds – their favourite food, but made healthier. By ensuring these dishes are designed to sound and taste as delicious as possible to diners, chefs will be offering healthier food with greater appeal. ‘Seductive Nutrition’ is part of our contribution towards the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan goal of helping more than one billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020. We do this by inspiring chefs to create great tasting dishes that are nutritious and healthy.”
For further information please download the World Menu Report: Seductive Nutrition or go to www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.za.