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Demand for GMO, Gluten-Free Rising

05/16/2016

Demand for GMO, Gluten-Free Rising

Increasing food concerns have led many of today’s consumers to inquire more about ingredients, products and the companies that produce them.1 With improved transparency in the food industry, consumers have become savvier about the foods they eat. For example, more and more consumers are taking a stand on GMOs as it becomes a topic of global interest and affects the business and politics of food. Meanwhile, the health & wellness industry continues to impact the food industry, inspiring Americans to eat healthy, natural ingredients and remove certain things like gluten from their diet. This has created a new market for gluten-free ingredients and food products to meet consumer demand. Both of these topics have already had a huge influence in the foodservice industry and continue to lead the way in the future of food. Here’s what you need to know to stay on-trend and satisfy your patrons.

GMO-Free

Perdue Foodservice has been leading the way in powerful advantage-driven poultry claims, such as no antibiotics ever and all-vegetarian fed. And with the recent launch of Perdue® Harvestland® USDA Certified Organic fresh and frozen chicken, Perdue can now add non-GMO to its list of offerings. USDA Certified Organic means the birds are raised in a free-range environment on certified organic farms, fed an organic non-GMO grain diet* with no animal by-products and are never, ever given antibiotics. By eliminating GMO foods, even a little at a time, you can help increase consumer satisfaction.

On the forefront of the GMO-free movement within the foodservice industry is the fast casual chain Chipotle. Since 2013, Chipotle has been working to become entirely GMO-free.2 Upon making the announcement, founder and CEO, Steve Ells, stated, “We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food, and that means cooking with the very best ingredients—ingredients that are free of additives—but still serving food that is affordable, convenient and, most importantly, delicious.”3

Many people believe GMO products should be labeled accordingly, providing consumers with transparency.4 Regardless of where you stand on the debate; the consumer outcry to remove GMO products from menus is not to be ignored. In fact, more than 70% of Americans say they don’t want genetically modified organisms in their food, according to a 2014 Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 1,000 adults.5

Gluten-Free

In an effort to eat healthier, many consumers are removing gluten from their diets, driving operators to reexamine and reformat menu offerings. According to Mintel, the category has experienced growth of 136% from 2013–2015, reaching estimated sales of $11.6 billion in 2015.6 Some 10% of US restaurants tracked by Mintel Menu Insights feature a gluten-free menu, appealing to the 22% of gluten-free food consumers who are more likely to visit restaurants that have a specific gluten-free menu.7

However, operators don’t need to revise their entire menu to attract patrons seeking gluten-free items. Simply offer gluten-free ingredients as an option for those patrons who want it. Gluten-free options like Perdue® Harvestland® Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks or Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders can transform any dish into a hearty, flavorful meal that satisfies diners with gluten sensitivities. By utilizing additional gluten-free ingredients like fresh fruit and vegetables, gluten-free wraps, salad dressings and even gluten-free pastas, operators can create a variety of delicious dishes that appeal to patrons cutting down on or avoiding gluten completely.

Perdue Foodservice understands the importance of serving healthy, transparent ingredients to meet your patrons’ needs, which is why you can feel confident turning to Perdue to meet your protein needs. Regardless of how you feel about GMOs and the gluten-free movement, by thoughtfully considering and implementing these menu trends, you will prove to consumers that your operation listens and cares about dietary needs and understands the current culinary landscape.

*The chicken used in this product is fed a diet that contains non-genetically-engineered ingredients. The USDA organic regulations do not permit the use of genetically engineered feed ingredients.

1 Mintel, “Mintel Serves Up 5 Key Food and Drink Trends For 2015”, 2/2/15

2,3 Nation’s Restaurant News, “Chipotle eliminates GMOs from menu,” April 2015

4,5 Consumer Reports, “Where GMOs hide in your food” October 2014

6, 7 Mintel, “Half of Americans think gluten-free diets are a fad while 25% eat gluten-free foods”, December 2015.

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