Published on: January 20, 2009Some call it the “downturn diet,” but the Los Angeles Times refers to it as the “back-to-basics bailout diet” – according to the paper, “the quest for a healthful and cost-conscious diet suggests Americans will be eating more meals cooked at home, upping their produce and whole-grain intake and eschewing sodium.” In other words, it won’t just be choices dictated by price tags – though value will continue to be an important factor when people walk the aisles of their local supermarkets.
Joan Salge Blake, clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University, tells the Times that “when people eat at home, they're often likely to eat more healthfully,” and she cites “a number of recent food industry innovations -- pre-cooked rice in a bag, clean and chopped fresh vegetables and fruits, including the microwave-in-bag varieties -- that are facilitating the consumption of quick but nutritious meals at home.”
Greg Drescher, executive director of strategic initiatives for the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, Calif., tells the Times that Americans have a much more sophisticated approach to healthful eating than they did five or 10 years ago, realizing that there are no "magic bullet" foods (i.e. oats) or food types (i.e. low-fat versions of foods) and “instead embracing a more holistic approach to healthful eating, one that emphasizes variety and whole, less-processed foods.”
- KC's View:
- When combined with a recession-driven need to save a buck wherever possible, the news appears to be good for the supermarket industry…if the industry is willing to take advantage of the current scenario.
There are so many opportunities to take advantage of – in the best possible sense – with the convergence of so many concerns at this point in time. Supermarkets can do it, without engaging in lowest-common-denominator marketing, and still appealing to the better angels of our nature.