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Clean Cuisine

Mar 01, 2017

I’ve been on the manufacturer side of the business a long time, almost 20 years—not to show age. From the very beginning, one of the factors always talked about, with regard to menus and food, was healthy options. To be honest, back in the day, it was kind of a joke. Everyone talked about it, consumers all said they wanted it, but when the rubber met the road, no one actually ordered it. In other words, “talking the talk” rarely meant “walking the walk”.

The “Clean Label” movement has been around for quite some time starting with “NO NO” ingredient lists otherwise known as the “Whole Foods” standard. In 2015 heading into 2016, however, it really started to gain momentum. Manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants alike, truly and meticulously began paying closer attention to their offerings than ever before.

Many out there “blame or credit” millennials for the surge in interest, but I’m not so sure it wasn’t in part, due to the aging Boomers [like myself] that began to realize that we need to start to pay closer attention to what we are eating. The health consequences of the food choices we make are undeniable—evidenced by the average life expectancies and obesity charts for global diets culturally. Like the old Joni Mitchell hit ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ goes, “Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT. I don't care about spots on my apples; leave me the birds and the bees”

The bottom line, the way the average consumer thinks about food is changing, and has changed. There is no denying that more natural foods with fewer ingredients are here to stay. Chicken soups that are “Big Bird Yellow” and labels that read like elements found in a 12th grade chemistry set are a thing of the past. I came to that final conclusion when my own 14-year-old was actually reading labels and making recommendations on purchases based on that information on a recent trip to the grocery store.

At Custom Culinary®, we stand ready, willing and able to help chefs accommodate the changing tide of dietary demands. Our new line of True Foundations™, as an example, will allow you full range of creativity in the kitchen, yet keep you in line with the clean label reality, while still offering you convenience.

Until next time, see you in the new healthy kitchen soon!


Mike Speranza, CEC
Corporate Executive Chef, East Region
Custom Culinary, Inc.


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