Mindfulness is affecting the way we eat

In a world where we are all making a more conscious effort to be more mindful of our own health, and that of our family, these influences are impacting the way we are shopping.

The latest Waitrose Food and Drink report has revealed that a third of those questioned have a meat-free or meat-reduced diet.

What is a flexitarian diet?

A flexitarian diet means that a person actively removes meat from their diet. This is considered more of a lifestyle choice and reflects the mindfulness people are showing towards the environment in general.

One Briton in five is now identifying as ‘flexitarian’. Half of those who say they are vegetarian, or vegan, say they eat meat ‘at weekends’ or ‘on special occasions’. This has been made possible by the increasingly matter-of-fact approach to these diet choices. Whilst there remains an ethical stance, for many these lines have now been blurred.

Is this the year of veganism?

2018 really feels like the year that veganism went mainstream. With a rise in vegan restaurants, and street food, long gone are the days when there isn’t even a vegan option on a menu and the only vegetarian option is a goat’s cheese tart, or something with mushrooms.

Waitrose have reported that 25% of their ‘milk’ range is made up of non-diary options due to demand. The biggest growth areas in the non-dairy milk market are oat milk (up by 116%), coconut milk (up by 60%) and almond milk (up 26%).

Early mornings, faster life, more food?

The food and drink report highlighted that people are feeling more pressure at work than five years ago. To combat this they are rising early and picking a healthier lifestyle to make sure they are making the most of their time.

Six in ten get up earlier to tackle chores or have some me time. As a result 15% of these early birds have an extra breakfast to get through the longer mornings. Breakfast is becoming less of a grab and go meal, and more of an event.

This faster pace of life has ultimately changed our relationship with food. People don’t want to feel stuffed and sluggish after a meal. People are searching for options that are smarter and healthier.

Waitrose has found that visits to their online BMI calculator has risen by 104%, and searches for healthy recipes have increased by 158%.

Jane Orchard, Partner and Manager, Store Innovation said: “Customers tell us the most useful things we can do to help them with good choices are making healthy food convenient and easy, and providing recipe ideas”.

60% of the respondents to the report said that they try and resist the urge to eat on the run. They like to sit down and eat their meal mindfully.

In terms of eating out this tells us that veganism is here to stay and needs to be taken seriously. But it is positive in the sense that people are enjoying the savouring eating out and enjoying it again. Eating is no longer seen as something to do on the run. The hunt for more interesting food is a great opportunity for small independents who can react and adapt quicker than the bigger brands, building up a successful reputation.