Health foods and superfoods have long been a trending topic in the hospitality sector as consumers continue to seek non-medical solutions to support their overall health and wellbeing. Whether targeting specific issues such as gut health, seeking to improve energy levels or reduce stress, how we fuel our bodies is a topic of growing importance. Kimchi, pickles, probiotics, prebiotics, garlic, asparagus and goji berries are amongst the many ingredients that positively impact our health. While supplements may be an easy way to consume vital vitamins, we know a healthy diet can’t be beaten, so our expert panel have given their guidance and advice to ensure your customers whether in the care, education or OOH sectors have access to food that nourishes their minds and bodies.

Alison Smith
Global Product Developer, Mars Foodservice
Making sure patients and residents are getting the correct nutritional meals is the main task for care home and hospital caterers: a task which of course is a challenge in itself and even more so when catering for the increasing number of vegan/vegetarian residents and patients who may be deprived of essential vitamins such as B12, calcium, iron, and zinc.

It is therefore important that caterers use ingredients that are rich in the vitamins that vegans and vegetarians may be deprived of. For example, care home caterers can use Ben’s Original Professional® Balti sauce as a base for creating a delicious vegan and gluten-free curry. Caterers can then look to add pulses, beans, potato and spinach – ingredients which will help residents and patients feel full whilst providing them with essential vitamins that they may be missing by not eating meat/cheese.

Matt Jefferson
Consultant Chef, Wilson Vale
We cater for both schools and corporate workplaces, and with schoolchildren healthy eating is all about making it fun and inviting – so dishes like watermelon pizzas and banana sushi are a big winner for kids.

For adults, salads are the go-to healthy option, whether that’s lentil, quinoa or chickpea; the beauty is you can add (or leave off) whatever you want – add your protein, a dash of lemon juice or garlic, sprinkle on some Brazil nuts and away you go.

My favourite healthy ingredient is kale – it’s multi-purpose, whether introduced in salads or as a crispy snack – and now I am also looking at potato milk smoothies (a real creamy, malty flavour) and carrot bacon.

Anh Pham
Founder, Paeonia
We believe in offering our customers the choice of healthy options alongside the more decadent, mixing new and unique Asian flavours with traditional teas, so you can design your bespoke drinks to suit your mood, your dietary requirements and your palate! 

You can literally tailor your own bubble tea around the level of sweetness you prefer, the toppings you like and all of our teas have the option to be completely plant-based too. On our menu you will find matcha, hojicha, Yakult, osmanthus, butterfly pea, taro and grass jelly – all of which have their own specific health benefits. These sit alongside other house favourites such as fluffy créme brûlée tea and brown sugar pearl with milk tea, so the choice is yours.”

Jason Phillips
Director, Wiltons Holdings
Locket’s, a vivacious wine bar and café located in the former Economist building, supports health and wellbeing through our delectable menu, particularly making our own kombucha. With a high-level of antioxidants, kombucha is found to reduce heart disease risk, kill harmful bacteria, and help manage Type 2 diabetes. The kombucha is one of many deliciously healthy dishes we offer. Our art deco restaurant is the perfect place for a nutritious and tasty meal to nourish the body and soul.

Sameer Taneja
Executive Chef, Benares
At Benares Mayfair, I enjoying using Moringa – a superfood which has been gaining a lot of popularity recently. What most people don’t know is that it was originally used as a herbal remedy in India, often in South Indian kitchens. The leaves are very nutritious and can be used in powder form, thus easily added to dishes and packed full of flavour. 

We love serving a Moringa Marinated Celeriac dish on our A La Carte
Menu for a fine-dining twist on the superfood, cooked over embers with a delicious moringa oil. Moringa works well in both vegetarian and meat dishes, especially with muntjac, which has been a staple dish at the restaurant since I joined!

Michelle Younger
Head of Marketing, Aimia Foods
Providing nutritional meals three times a day, seven days a week in the care and hospital sector while delivering choice and catering for specific dietary requirements is exceptionally challenging.

Available in Original and Vegan variants to the foodservice market, Horlicks provides caterers with a versatile, nourishing ingredient that can be used to create an extensive range of delicious and nutritious breakfasts, desserts and beverages. As well as the classic malted beverage that our nation knows and loves, Horlicks can also be used to create shakes, smoothies, pancakes, on-trend overnight oats, porridge bowls and so much more!

Shuko Oda
Chef-Owner, Koya
Natto is fermented soya beans full of protein, iron and fibre. The Natto bacteria help to decrease harmful bacteria in your stomach and fix to regulate your digestive system. They are also said to help prevent blood clots and high blood sugar levels as well as build stronger bones. Where is the catch? None for me, but the sticky, slimy and stringy texture along with its distinct smell might be off putting for some! My favourite way to eat Natto is to boost up the texture by mixing it with poached or raw egg, chopped okra and seaweed and served on freshly cooked rice.

Joe Yates
Development Chef, Carpigiani
With an increase in pandemic-related mental health problems such as stress and anxiety, consumers are turning to food as a way to influence mood and support mental wellbeing, creating new opportunities for operators. You can create a functional gelato or soft serve using three key ingredients: A well-known ingredient that will attract a customer, a “halo ingredient” that provides a perceived health benefit to the product and a “hero” ingredient with scientifically backed support.

Consumers already link some functional “halo” ingredients to mental wellness and these ingredients can be included in soft serve or gelato. I make a Reishi Mushroom and Chaga Mushroom gelato that is said to promote sleep and aid relaxation to reduce stress. Chaga Mushrooms are also said to be immune boosting, reduce inflammation and have anti-ageing properties.

Pippa Lovell
S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award Alumni
At our restaurant Versa on the Isle of Man, we made the extreme decision to not serve alcohol. We only use 100% local ingredients within a few miles & didn’t want to undermine our ethos. It does mean however, we have the opportunity to serve healthy drinks such as kombucha. Or more technically ‘Jun tea’, as we only use local honey, sugar isn’t available. A symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (AKA a scoby) is added to herbs and honey creating a tart, probiotic beverage which we can second ferment with local fruits and wild herbs. Spruce and apple is a bestseller!