Consumers want to know where their food came from and how it is produced and prepared. This led to the continuing trend of open-kitchen concepts, including low countertops in the restaurant market. Today, those restaurant designs are permeating the senior living segment. Open, country-style kitchens are being used in memory care to better integrate the senior living community. These designs make it easier for residents to get closer to staff and care providers. When a resident can pull up a seat close to a foodservice staff member for food preparation or a demonstration, he or she is more actively involved, which is increasingly important in senior living communities.
FREIGHT ON THE RISE
A variety of factors are contributing to a rise in freight costs. The shortage of truck drivers has topped the list of freight concerns this year, according to new research by the American Transportation Research Institute. In addition, because of new federal regulations, drivers must now use electronic logging devices, or ELDs, which monitor whether they are abiding by limits on driving hours. This adds days and expenses to deliveries. The rise of e-commerce sales and growing economy are also notable influences. As a result of the trend, shippers are postponing deliveries and incurring higher prices. Buyers might notice this trickle-down effect and be faced with higher food, supplies and materials costs.
LET’S TALK “VOICE ACTIVATION TECHNOLOGY”
Technology isn’t slowing down in the senior living industry. In fact, it is expected to speed up this year. Voice activation technology, through the use of items like “wearables” (monitoring bracelets) and assistive technology like smartphones, Amazon Alexa and Google Home, is projected to impact senior living facilities by empowering residents to perform more tasks on their own. Further, data collected from these devices can aid senior living facilities in monitoring residents’ nutrition, exercise, sleep and beyond.
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Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.