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16/03/2020 – News / Conference / Nutrition / Foodservice / Retail / Kerry / UK

Foodservice leaders gather at first-of-its-kind conference on the future of nutrition

Foodservice leaders gather at first-of-i

Hosted by Kerry Taste & Nutrition and held in London, the first industry-wide conference looked at how nutrition is changing the game in foodservice and inspiring innovation on menus.

Speakers and panelists joined the conference from leading companies in the sector, including Starbucks, McDonalds, Crussh, Sodexo, Greggs, The WellSpoken Mark and the British Nutrition Foundation. 


Out-of-home nutrition was the sole focus of the exclusive event in Shoreditch, London, with knowledge-sharing and collaboration between major foodservice operators for the first time. 


New pan-European research conducted by Kerry Taste & Nutrition across seven markets (UK, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Russia) was unveiled at the event, with 8 out of 10 (81-per-cent) of those seeking to change their diet believing that foodservice operators have a responsibility to improve nutrition on their menus.

The new research revealed by Kerry Taste & Nutrition looked into consumer attitudes, needs, trends and behaviours towards nutrition when eating out of home. There was a specific focus on transparency of food sourcing, sugar reduction, the importance of maintaining signature taste profiles and how this impacts operators. New and emerging health trends and the importance of language when conveying healthy options to consumers were also examined.

Key themes explored at the conference


The key themes explored at the recent event included the following:


‘Consumers get real’ – People are increasingly looking for food and drink options that are more natural, more nutritious and more environmentally sustainable, with 35 per cent considering natural ingredients/flavours as the most important nutritional claim at lunch and dinner. Respondents also said there are demands for ‘cleaner’ cooking methods with steaming, poaching and baking preferred over frying.


‘Transparency needs’ – Across all seven markets researched, 6 in 10 people would like to see more nutritional information (such as calorie content, fat content and sugar content) displayed on foodservice menus.


‘Hold the sugar’ – 43 per cent of foodservice customers are interested in or following a reduced sugar trend, and increasingly searching for beverages with low sugar (57 per cent) or no added sugar (53 per cent) attributes. Interestingly, 41 per cent see real fruit as a key beverage health attribute. This strongly suggests that real fruit as a sweetener is something operators could be making more of. 


‘Finding balance’ – 81 per cent of those seeking to change their diet believe foodservice operators have a responsibility to improve nutrition on their menus. The foodservice industry must respond to this overwhelming market demand. While nutrition is an emerging trend, taste still remains key as the most sought-after need. Many are seeking out smarter ways to indulge – for example, one in three (38 per cent) look for natural claims when purchasing ice cream.


‘Mind matters’ – Consumers are increasingly focusing on holistic wellbeing. This involves considering and nourishing all human elements (mind, body and spirit), with 32 per cent of people citing mental well-being as a key reason to change their diet.


Demand for nutritional improvements on menus


“People are eating out more frequently and demanding healthy options that don’t compromise on taste,” observed Karl Buiks, Vice President for Foodservice, Marketing & Strategic Planning at Kerry Taste & Nutrition. “The foodservice industry is also being challenged by public health bodies to address this demand with nutritional improvements to menus.


“Our purpose at Kerry is to inspire food and nourish life and as one of the world’s leading taste and nutrition companies, this is a major focus for us,” he continued. “The aim of this conference was to share insights in nutrition, consumer behaviour and future development of menus with the leading companies in the industry.”


Elaine Druhan, Foodservice Marketing Manager at Kerry Taste & Nutrition, who unveiled the research at the event, said: “Given the limited amount of research to date in this area specifically, we really wanted to help our customers understand this growing trend – and, in turn, be able to evolve their businesses to meet consumers’ growing nutritional expectations,” she remarked, adding: “The day was such a success. We had such great attendance from many major operators and are eager to share our new findings more broadly.”


Keynote speeches and panelist discussions from organisations such as Crussh, Starbucks, McDonalds, Sodexo, Greggs, The WellSpoken Mark and the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) made compelling listening, with topics covering wide-ranging themes from the impact of legislation, through to language use and credibility, evolving cleaner labels, and macro-trends such as functional benefits, protein and plant-based.


For further insights, visit:

Latest issue – Vol 1/23
– Health & Nutrition focus
– Gulfood 2023 Special
– Next level legume – The rise of the chickpea
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