What Is Adaptogen – Facts, Guides and Recipes

Adaptogenic ingredients now trending in the food-and-beverage industry.

Adaptogen Guide for Foodservice Pros

Hungry for food-and-beverage industry news? Then adapt yourself – and your restaurant menus – to the following ingredients and latest buzz words in the biz. If you haven’t yet heard of amla, ashwagandha, ginseng, maca, maitake, holy basil, and cordyceps, it’s time to evolve and learn all you can about adaptogens and adaptogenic herbs.

They may be new to the U.S. market, but adaptogens are actually ancient herbs and roots that – as their name suggests – help the body ‘adapt’ to a wide range of stressors and events. Used for millennium in Ayurveda healing and in traditional Chinese medicine, adaptogens are now being infused into coffees, teas, juices, power bars, chocolate bars, chewing gum, gummy bears, granola, soups, salad dressings, and even burgers. Available as powders, liquid extracts, or consumed raw as part of a meal, today’s wellness-seeking consumers are gobbling up the goods and chefs, restaurant owners, and suppliers are updating their ingredient lists to include these super-herbs.

Adaptogen Benefits

So, what exactly do adaptogens offer your customers? The number one purported benefit of the revitalizing plants is stress relief, followed by a large serving of adaptogen benefits that include: helping regulate emotional states and hormonal responses, restoring homeostasis (overall balance), facilitating sleep, improving brain function, supporting fertility, boosting immunity, enhancing endurance, and more. In a nutshell, adaptogenics are a natural means of helping the body cope with any number of physical, chemical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors. And for a consumer base that is thirsting for products that help them calm down, perk up, and achieve optimum health and happiness, adding adaptogens to your restaurant’s menu may be the perfect recipe for modern-day business success.

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Bold Ingredients for Daring Consumers

New ingredients give customers a 'wow' eating-out experience.

The name of the foodservice game is always innovation. Now, more than ever before, consumers are clamoring for new ingredients, unusual food pairings, bold and exotic tastes from around the world, eye-catching dishes, presentation with a flair, and anything that offers them a ‘wow’ eating-out experience. The very concept of ‘the adventurous consumer’ is where it’s at, so let’s find out how your restaurant, catering service, bar, bakery, food truck, pizza shop, ice cream parlor, or fast-food joint can spice things up and deliver what daring diners are seeking.

In the quest for exciting and novel food experiences, the rule of thumb in the food-and-beverage industry is: The bolder, the better. So, what pioneering ingredients are you offering your customers? What pièce de résistance can your chefs conjure up to ensure that what you are serving is a game-changer? To help stir your culinary creative juices – and boost your biz – here is a generous serving of menu ideas from around the world.

Globe-Trotting Consumers Seek International Flavors

International foods are most definitely on current menus. Thanks to the Internet and sites like Instagram and Pinterest, customers are aware of what’s being served around the globe and they are ravenous for a piece of the action. Furthermore, Global Data surveys reveal that millennials (today’s largest dining-out demographic) view eating as a means of exploring the world, and Innova Market Insights’ director of innovation, Lu Ann Williams, adds: “Food is now entertainment, in and out of the home. Nowadays, you can experience eating like Marco Polo along the spice route in a London restaurant, try tasting menus, or have anything you want be delivered at home.”

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Clean Label Do’s and Don’ts

Clean Label a Food Industry Standard

Clean Label a Food Industry Standard

Attention Foodservice Pros: Clean label is here to stay! If you thought it might be a passing phenomenon, fad, or trend in the food industry, it’s time to get with the times because clean label is no longer the exception but the expectation. Consumers are demanding that you provide them with transparency, authenticity, and sustainability – and they are willing to pay top dollar to restaurants, catering services, and manufacturers that respond to their demands. According to the clean-label strategy experts at Food Insider Journal and Vitafoods Insights, the latest stats in the nutrition space reveal that a whopping 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for foods and beverages made with ingredients they recognize and trust and that do not contain undesirable ingredients. (What constitutes ‘undesirable’? Hang onto your chef’s hats — that answer coming shortly…) Forty percent also said they would switch from their current brand to another if it offered more transparency.

2019 Consumers Want to Know

What does all this really mean? Put simply, it means that health-conscious consumers want to know what they are putting into their bodies. This accounts for the ever-expanding list of foods and beverages they deem acceptable – and what’s on the menu these days are ingredients that are dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free, preservative-free, sugar-free, nut-free, alcohol-free, non-GMO, organic, all natural, and minimally processed. They also have a preference for vegetarian, keto, and paleo-friendly diets, plant-based sources of protein, authentic foods, ‘kitchen-cupboard’ ingredients, and ingredient sourcing. Translation: Consumers want to know where their food comes from!

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Ramp Up Your 2019 Beverage Menu With These New And Exciting Beverages

Last updated on July 11th, 2019

Innovative and functional 2019 beverages are in demand

Beverage Trends 2019

What beverages will consumers be drinking this year? If you are a foodservice professional looking to ramp up your 2019 beverage menu, here are some of the latest food-and-drink trends to follow.

Exciting, New Drinks in Demand

According to the experts, there has never been a more exciting time to be in the beverage industry. As beverages are fitting into consumers’ lives in more areas than ever before, innovation is on the rise in every segment of the market. Fresh, exciting, new drinks are in demand, driven by increased consumer interest in convenient, functional, healthy, nootropic (brain-boosting) drinks; non-alcoholic, gourmet, sour, and fruity drinks; as well as new hot and cold brew options. This coupled with innovations in the water industry make the beverage industry a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, expect to see a direct parallel between 2019 beverage selections and food industry trends, which are playing a role in what consumers are drinking.

Beverages with a Benefit

Demand for functional beverages are on the rise, with consumers thirsty for drinks that not only quench their thirst, but which offer some kind of health advantage as well. According to the research firm Mintel, this includes probiotic drinks that are good for your gut and that feature ‘superfood’ ingredients such as kava, maca, and mushrooms, as well as low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; drinks with anti-flammatory properties; and ‘adaptogenic’ beverages containing health-boosting herbs, such as medicinal mushrooms. These are increasingly found in drinks, teas, powders, and tinctures.

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