Food Matters is an annual event which aims to educate, inspire and inform interested people and related trades of the current trends and products in the food scene. this year the recurring theme was Vegan foods and there was an additional thread running through the exhibitors of drinks – probiotic, energy, healthful, vegan and all sorts of other types of health-related drinks. Last year it was all about ‘bites’ – cacao bites, coconut bites, nutty bites, hemp bites… it went on and on, bite after bite! But this year…. drinks.
Enid Taylor was invited to take part in a panel of experts in the food, nutrition and gut health discussion about new trends in the market place associated with gut health. Enid was invited to suggest participants who could offer diverse aspects of the subject and the panel included:
Ellora – from The ‘arty Vegan (http://instabio.cc/20190516bt2qvHDf)
Barry Smith – From Symprove (www.symprove.com)
Janey Lee Grace – Imperfectly natural author and recent founder of the new “The Sober Club”, helping people to release that going Alcohol free can be socially acceptable and a step towards better health, better lives and better ‘you’. www.imperfectlynatural.com
Enid Taylor – from the Taymount Clinic – speicalisest in FMT – Gut Flora Restoration and digestive health. www.taymount.com
Sarah Yates – from the makers of Sea Arch – a superb new product which rivals gin in its flavours and is alcohol-free. https://www.notginltd.com
The panel was chaired by Dr Megan Rossi, a keen health researcher and author of a gut health book and blog writer.
The panel ran from 12.15 to 1pm;
The audience seemed very keen, no seats were left empty and there were many rows of standing listeners. Lots of questions were lobbied and afterwards there was a trail of keen questioners waiting for a chance to talk to the panelists when the slot was finished.
Enid and Janey were later speaking with a product researcher from Tesco supermarkets who was interested in their opinions as to what food markets would be offering as the next trend in retail; Janey was keen to promote alcohol-free drinks for adults as people going out for drinks with friends, don’t want warm orange juice or coca cola – they want sophisticated and elegant drinks in nice glassware as part of the social ritual. Normally if you ask for a sparkling water, you get a half pint tumbler with no finesse. The Tesco lady listened keenly.
Enid presented a Powerpoint showing how the word ‘Vegan’ is being traded about like some kind of badge of healthy content, but she showed pictures of iced doughnuts, white pastry ’sausage’ rolls and declared them both “vegan” and not at all healthy. Apparently there is a term called ‘dirty vegan’ which can mean animal-free but not necessarily healthful. So all things Vegan are not a by-word for health.
The new trend for food is likely to continue down the Plant-based route and should start to veer towards organic and whole foods.
The new trend could be: Plant-based, Organic, Wholefoods, Environmentally Responsible = P O W E R
Additionally, the group of people most likely to be suffering from age- and diet-related degenerative conditions like diabetes and obesity, are the ageing Baby-Boomers. They are suffering from 5 decades of fast-food snacking and everything convenient and are now reaping the bitter harvest of poor life-style choices. They, of all people, would remember the Macrobiotic diets that Hippies loved and extolled in the 1960s. Today, with the emphasis on the health of the gut flora, the Microbiome, it should be re-launched as MICRO-biotics – brown rice, brown everything, nothing convenience, everything wholegrain, fresh, seasonal, local and natural.
The need that retailers need to meet is the production of quick and easy to grab convenience foods which meet those criteria: Low in sugar (this is the real baddie, the sugar is causing the obesity, the diabetes and many other conditions), wholegrain – nothing refined and everything organic as we don’t need hormones and chemical antibiotics in our foods. POWER packs…?
Environmentally Responsible – if you eat locally and in season, you reduce the carbon footprint of your eating habits which helps the planet. If you eat in a way that helps the planet, you automatically look after your own health in the process and likewise, if you look after your health and choose wisely for fresh, wholesome plant-based diets, you are automatically going to be helping the planet.
Macrobiotics, – the new POWER diet.