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Food Trends for Faith-Based: More Protein, Less Gluten

Food Trends for Faith-Based: More Protein, Less Gluten


Last Published: 12/10/2018

Food Trends for Faith-Based: More Protein, Less Gluten

The demand for gluten-free, cleaner menu options are stretching beyond medical necessity and into healthier lifestyle choices.


Foodservice in the Faith-Based segment has been seeing interesting emerging trends, specifically geared towards healthier choices. Overall, there has been an increase in gluten-free requests, regardless of a medical need. Campers are interested in going all-natural, avoiding GMOs and artificial coloring. There is also a growing demand for sugar-free beverages, prompting a surge in tea and flavored water options, to watch calorie intake. These trends are seen in campers of all ages.

Locations with salad bars have seen a higher demand for more protein-rich options to be added, including plant-based proteins like legumes and pulses, which are edible seeds.  Operators should consider taking a more Mediterranean-style approach to their salad toppings and offer olives, feta cheese, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, beans, sunflower seeds and olive oil to increase consumer protein options.

Many faith-based foodservice operations are also taking a low-sodium and heart-healthy approach by limiting salt or buttery fats to their recipes, resulting in a more natural and clean menu. By focusing on more lean proteins like eggs and turkey sausage for breakfast and fish and poultry for lunch, as well as moving from frozen to fresh produce, many locations have found a significant increase in consumer satisfaction rates.  Making this change also illustrates their commitment to helping their patrons live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle, which congregants appreciate.

Entegra Supplier Insights:

  • Koch Foods’® fresh and frozen chicken products, including portion control breasts and bone-in whole bird equivalent items, combined with the fully prepared product line will meet all the needs of the Faith-Based Segment. Fully cooked nuggets, patties and tenders are always menu leaders and popular items for all categories. Nutritional label items for children are also available.
  • General Mills® on-trend Crunch Lab® program can fit perfectly into the Faith Based camp setting, allowing campers the ability to snack on bulk cereals that can be customized into personalized snacks - along with other favorite items like pretzels, mini-marshmallows, dried fruits, etc. to fuel them throughout the day. These snacks can easily be paired with other healthy choices like fresh fruit, yogurt or even fresh baked low-fat muffins for a robust bundled snack. 87% of consumers are eating cereal any time of the day. With more than half of the “Big G” cereals containing No High Fructose Corn Syrup and No Artificial Flavors or Colors, many providing Whole Grain nutrition and a large assortment that are also Gluten-Free, these all-day cereal based snacks provide delicious and desirable ways to offer balanced nutrition at every eating occasion.

For more information, download entegra’s Segment Trend paper for Faith-Based Segments.

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.

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