Last week, I jetted off on an Easy Jet plane for a week’s holiday. It was both a surprise and delight when I opened the inflight food and drink menu to see a glimmer of healthy choices among the usual snacks and cold drinks. Nestled between a can of coke and a Twix bar was a favourite of mine, Love Corn. This delicious healthy snack offers much more than the average. Moorish and crunchy, Love Corn is gluten-free, contains a source of fiber and few calories. The perfect little snack for a four-hour flight!
Over the last decade more and more healthy products have entered our supermarkets, garages and of course vending machines. This is the first time I’ve seen any on a flight. As a Doozy employee I am well aware of the healthy products now available. But, many people across the UK are not so lucky.
That is until now.
We have entered a new era in people’s attitudes to food. We no longer reach for high sugar drinks, and chocolate bars heavy with calories. As a nation, we have opened our minds (and mouths) to healthy eating.
Across the UK, the obesity crisis is on the rise. 2015 statistics showed an increase of obese adults from 14.9% in 1993 to 26.9%. If nothing changes, fears are that, by 2050, this statistic will rise to over 50%. Children are suffering the consequence of overeating as well, with one in five leaving primary school obese.
There are a number of factors which have contributed to the obesity crisis. The introduction of sugary processed products is one of them. Our lives a busy, and the need for quick food is essential. Cereal bars, chocolate bars and crisps all fill gaps when we are hungry but this snacking habit isn’t good for us. The availability of such products means we can grab one whenever we want. Healthy products are not so easy to come by. There has also been a 53% increase in the number of places to eat out in the last 10 years. In fact, there are now more places to eat out than buy groceries. Other contributors include large portion sizes, a love of ‘fast’/junk food and the popularity of calorie-filled brands such as Coca Cola and Mars.
Our eating behaviours have a lot to do with the people around us. Be it friends, family, work collogues or even those we only know in the social media world. Decades of research has shown that other people influence our food intake and choices in more ways than one. Over the last few years, healthy eating has become a ‘trend’, drawing in followers. This is good news; we are a country in the midst of an obesity epidemic after all.
In 2016, a report found that nearly half of those in the 18-34 age range have changed their diet towards healthier eating. Quite a difference to the 23% of those over 55. The same report found that the reasoning behind millennials desires to change their eating habits focused on increasing media coverage on healthy eating across social media channels. This includes the promotion of healthy eating through bloggers and social ‘influencers’.
The food and drink industry has acknowledged the healthy trend and is making way for a huge variety of products. From vitamin drinks to gluten-free snacks we are spoilt for choice. At Doozy, we get many of our delicious healthy snacks and cold drinks from wholesaler Epicurium. They dedicate their range of products to focus on healthy.
We have a long way to go. Still, high numbers of people are obese or overweight putting a huge strain on the NHS. If the healthy trend continues as we expect it too, we should notice a change in the shocking obesity rates.
Our high streets continue to be littered with junk food but many restaurants are offering lighter portions and more choice. Healthy products are slowly becoming the norm alongside more calorie-filled products. This will allow for more and more brands to enter what was previously – an unhealthy dominated market. Supermarkets have led the way for healthy products. With so many options, they are able to offer a lot of choices. It is harder for smaller retailers. Although many vending companies have acknowledged the need for healthy products, they usually dedicate just a row. As Doozy, we wanted to offer something different for our consumers – providing an entire healthy vending offering. Easy Jet has shown that even a small inflight menu should contain healthy choices. The providing of healthy products reflects the consumer demand for them.
Long may it continue.
If you would like healthy vending in your organisation, please get in touch with us today.
A little about me:
I am Sophie, Marketing Coordinator for Doozy. I started working for Doozy in 2014, and since then have witnessed the increasing demand for healthy products. We have spoken to hospitals, universities and leisure centres who have all seen the need for healthy vending. Every week, we receive samples from new healthy brands, breaking into the market. This change has seen our company go from traditional vending to Doozy healthy vending. It is a very exciting market to work in.