Consumers are looking for healthy alternatives to some traditional food staples. Increases in food allergies, a rise in obesity rates, and bird flus are causing people to rethink how they eat. Foods high in fat, sugar, and cholesterol, such as eggs, sweets, and condiments are being avoided by a lot of people. Major food manufacturers are slow to develop healthier alternatives, so independent companies are leading the way. They are not invested in the profitability of processed sugar and animal products. The masses are discovering that healthy does not mean boring or lacking in taste. There are a few factors contributing to that realization.
One is advances in food technology. Textures are smoother, taste is better, and ingredients are healthier than ever before. Independent food companies are able to provide better tasting alternatives for everything from cheeses and meats, to salad dressings and mayonnaise, to desserts and cookie dough. Heidi Ho, for example, is an independent company that makes cheese alternatives that contain no soy, yeast, gluten, or dairy. Ingredients include chia seeds, cashews, a puree of vegetables, and safflower oil. Food tech startup Hampton Creek utilizes pea proteins as the main ingredient in an alternative to mayonnaise. That product, Just Mayo, is now available in five flavors. Salad dressings, cookies, and dessert mixes have followed, with more products to be released later this year.
Other factors include accessibility and affordability. The increase in demand for healthy options means items are available on more store shelves. Large chain department stores with grocery sections are placing healthy alternatives along side traditional products. Bargin dollar stores are even offering some healthy food items. More and more people can find healthy foods where they usually shop. Plant-based ingredients are more cost-effective to process than animal products. That translates to affordable pricing for healthier alternatives. People in low and moderate income brackets are now able to afford products on a regular basis. It no longer costs a small fortune to provide healthy food to the family. The next time groceries are needed, take a minute to look at new products on the shelves. Finding healthy alternatives that taste great and cost less is easier than ever before.