Eating With A Conscious
Food & Beverage Business Review|August - September 2020
Eating With A Conscious
Maintaining ecological balance has become important with almost everyone today. This is also affecting eating habits of individuals. Protecting ecological balance is an issue in which everyone has become involved. One way of achieving this, according to some, is to consume organic food. It may be mentioned that organic food profile rose in the early 2000s, as consumers began to see connection between diet, health and environment. As shoppers today turn to clean labels and demand transparency in the foods they eat and the beverages they drink, organic food seems to be poised for growth. Ashok Malkani views the scene of organic food and finds that the growth isn’t expected to slowdown. A recent TechSci Research report estimates the global organic food market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of more than 14% between 2016 and 2021.
Ashok Malkani

More and more people are now laying stress on healthy food. The consumers are now eating with a conscious. The trend for following a strict dietary regimen is now, with the coronavirus scare, becoming popular with people of all ages.

Preety Arora, Head - Business Strategy, Amatra Hotels & Resorts, says, “The tragedy of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has somewhat impacted the travel and hospitality industry in India in terms of travelers from Southeast Asia and the middle east. There are many business travelers from China and other Southeast Asian countries who go out on weekend trips from Delhi NCR to hills and other tourist leisure destinations but recently we have witnessed a fall in queries from such foreign nationals. However, it is a very small percentage of travelers and we do not foresee any major impact in the medium to long term. At Amatra we always maintain high levels of hygiene and are currently coordinating with government agencies to follow all the necessary precautions. We are also advising all travelers to follow the protocols laid out by the health ministry to ensure everyone's safety.”

While COVID-19 may have affected the travel plans of several people it has added to the awareness of people to have a proper diet. At the 2019 Academy of Nutrition and Dietics Food and Nutrition Conference it was pointed out that plant-base eating was a trend that is going to grow. A flexitarian eating style which allows anyone and everyone to add more produce and other plant nutrients to their day, according to the Conference, was the main driver.

Yes, people are now not only paying attention to what they consume but they are eating with a conscious.

Executive Chef Simran Singh Thapar, JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa is of the view that ethical eating will be catching more audiences as more and more people are becoming aware and also following their food ethics as a means to choose what they eat and support as food choices. He emphasised that people today are eating with a conscious and they want to eat not only organic food but also ethical food.

He adds, “Ethical eating will be catching more audiences as more and more people are becoming aware and also following their food ethics as a means to choose what they eat and support as food choices. We as a five-star hotel have also adopted various initiatives including supporting organisations that support the marginalised farmers to propagate and support the Fairtrade that is growing strong as a food ethic. We are also becoming more Vegan-friendly for guests who look at Animal welfare as their ethic and have become Vegans to support their belief.”

Mukesh Sharma, Executive Chef, Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa states that people are, today, conscious of good food and view organic food as healthy since these products are grown under a natural system of agriculture.

He adds, “Some of the steps we should take to satisfy these demands of customers looking for ethical food are:

Use produce from a Chef’s garden

Free-range Egg

Free-range Chicken

A2 milk, milk products or dairy products where cows have access to the outdoors

Tie up with authorized vendors”

Abhishek Basu, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, states “We have noticed the trend of people to go for organic and ethical foods and have, therefore, introduced cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free chicken at Bombay Baking Company, our patisserie, and deli. We also try and endorse our faux meats and vegan offerings across all our restaurants as much as possible to our guests.”

Sumanta Chakrabarti, Corporate Chef of Ambuja Neotia group, disclosed, organic food broadly meant food was not genetically engineered and grown with the assistance of toxic chemicals, synthetic pesticides, arsenic, biosolids etc. He added that the justification for the fast growth of this trend was that growth projection of fruits and vegetables “for the domestic market is 25.6 per cent over the next five years. 34 companies out of 71 companies (48 per cent) have stressed to diversify their product portfolio and diversify the supply chain operations in the future; major being organic pulses and soyabeans.”

Aniket Kathe, Director Food & Beverage, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre & Hyderabad International Convention Centre, however feels, “The food culture in India has evolved, but is limited to Urban India. Despite the growth, home cooked food still remains the first choice of the urban consumers. Food Safety and awareness of health-related illness has influenced the mind-set and the demand for Organic Food. The market for green products is an expressed interest, but Indian Market still needs more information of choosing these products that benefit the environment. At Novotel Hyderbad Convention Centre, we have an In-house Hydroponics farm where we cultivate vegetables, which are used in our canteens and restaurants on a regular basis. We promote them by Information on cards and social media.”

Rakesh Rana, Executive Chef, Indore Marriott Hotel declares that being a chef one has to be aware of the new trends and the demands of the customers. He adds “Many of our guests, particularly the Gen Y is more focused on ethical food.”

Chef Subhash Jana, Executive Chef, Swissotel Kolkata, is of the view that the F&B industry runs on face value and brand image. “We being a world known brand which is known for its food and beverage take certain initiatives from corporate level and also from unit level.

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August - September 2020