Decadence and Prudence… In Words
While craveability has often been associated with more indulgent offerings, modern consumers are increasingly craving more restrained or—dare we suggest it—healthier options. Where chips, fries, candy, and ice cream may have ruled the world of cravings previously, poke bowls and produce-forward dishes are just as likely to be craveable to today’s consumer.
We’ve moved into a new world of eating behavior. If that wasn’t true, then produce would not be playing the role it now is. Have we become a country that eschews meat for vegetables and now is more likely to crave salads over duck-fat fries? No, that’s certainly not the case. But consumers have shown that high-protein or nutrient-dense options can be as craveable as caramelized onions and Death by Chocolate. Thanks to the veg-centric trend that promotes strategic flavor-building, carrots become an irresistible bar bite, maybe ember-roasted and glazed with harissa, then finished with dollops of burrata.
Consumers also now crave a lack of guilt when eating. For years, guilt has been woven into food experiences as the government and the healthcare industries worked to shift consumer behavior in an effort to positively impact the obesity epidemic. Consumers are tired of feeling guilt when eating. It has not necessarily shifted behavior back to an “I don’t care, I’ll eat what I want” mentality, but it has driven consumers to crave options that make them feel better about their choices.
This has helped usher in organic and the peripheral sustainability-oriented options that allow consumers to feel good about what they are eating. Wild-caught, grass-fed and foraged suggest health and sustainability, imply premium value and elevate positive feelings about the food we eat. Feeling good about what you order—that’s craveable.
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