The healthcare industry has been front and center in the past 2 ½ years, with a global health crisis top of mind and top of news feed.
An increased interest in food and its relationship with overall health has truly put the healthcare foodservice industry in a critical position. Operators must strategically use this momentum to keep up with trends within the industry and maximize profit.
In order to help, we’ve put together some healthcare foodservice trends.
Room Service Isn’t Just for Hospitality
Long gone are the days of the stereotypical bland hospital dinner tray, reflecting a lack of innovation. Today, hotel-style room service promises creativity and freedom of choice for patients – allowing them to align with healing and hope.
Healthcare facilities’ a-la-carte menus allow patients to have more control over their meals, instead of having a one-size-fits-all approach to dining. Combined with flexibility in meal times, room service-style dining can have a hugely positive impact on patient experience.
Allowing for flexibility in dining also greatly reduces food waste, as patients are getting exactly what they want, and not throwing out a pre-made meal.
Although importance of sustainability took a hit after the start of the 2020 pandemic, (63% of surveyed healthcare foodservice operators said that these efforts were paused during the bulk of the pandemic), this seems to be trending back upwards.
Healthcare Facilities should look towards a future where sustainability continues to be a factor in choosing operations.
Operators should note the financial benefits of sourcing sustainably. For example, sourcing local brings down transportation costs, and buying frozen assists in this era of food shortages, as well as greatly reduces food waste, and in turn, food costs. A commitment to sustainable practices also shows corporate responsibility.
Big Banana® Ripe Plantain Rounds With Quinoa, black Beans and Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Grab-and-Go for Staff
With staffing shortages being the top Covid-19-related concern across healthcare facilities (81%), hospital employees are under a lot of pressure to be time efficient at work. This may increase the need for quick and easy meal solutions while on the job.
Hospitals that offer a range of meals such as quick grab-and-go wraps and burritos, or pre-topped salads stand a higher chance of having their staff dine on-campus.
Offering meal plans to employees that incentivize eating on the job will also be beneficial to healthcare facilities.
You might like: 7 Tropical Grab-&-Go Ideas to Switch Up Your Basic Bowls
Big Banana® BBQ Wrap with Big Banana® Ripe Plantains and Black Beans
Options a Driving Factor for Long-Term Care
Dataessential’s Healthcare Foodservice Keynote Report notes that “Those in senior living and long-term care centers have the widest range of choices for consumers and their families and are most likely to consider food options in making the decision. In fact, 42% of long-term care/senior-living residents say they considered food options early in the selection process.”
On a more broad note, “41% of all patients/residents at least somewhat considered the food options before deciding where to get care, and a quarter of consumers closely considered them.”
Healthcare facilities that meet growing dietary demands and preferences will attract those seeking variety and trend-forward menus (such as global cuisine, which 32% of surveyed operators said they were looking to implement) in their long-term care facilities.
You might like: Heart Healthy Recipes with Plantain and Yuca
Beyond the Hospital and into the Community
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are making more of an effort to do community outreach. Things like implementing food education in food deserts around the country are one task that some healthcare facilities are challenging themselves with in order to give back to the community.
Healthcare in a Post Health-Crisis World
The covid-19 pandemic forever changed not only the healthcare industry, but the food industry. Working in a combination of these two worlds now requires more innovation and creativity than ever before.
At MIC Food®, we offer value-added, global forward frozen fruits and vegetables for healthcare foodservice which save time and effort while driving profit. Most importantly, our products are a better-for-you option that leave a lasting impact on patients and guests.
Interested in our frozen, ready-to-heat products? Request more information by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org today, or order samples directly below: