This post is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods.
A desire to eat healthier is driving many current food trends, but even though consumers may have the best of intentions, it isn’t always easy to stick to a healthy diet — especially around the holidays. Eighty-one percent of consumers said they wish they made healthier choices during the holiday season, and yet seven out of 10 had no plans to make their holiday meals healthier this past year, according to a recent ORC International Survey conducted for Ready Pac Foods.
Cutting out indulgences such as heavy meats, decadent side dishes, desserts and festive cocktails can be difficult when holiday gatherings seems to revolve around food. Adding a few healthy options to a decadent holiday menu can offer a compromise that allows consumers to fill their plates with the traditional foods they love, plus fruits and vegetables that increase the nutritional profile of the meal and help stave off guilt.
“At Ready Pac Foods, we know it’s important to honor holiday traditions in the kitchen, but we also know that often comes with a lot of over-indulgence, and for some, an overwhelming feeling of guilt,” said Tristan Simpson, CMO of Ready Pac Foods.
The Southern California-based producer of convenience fresh meal solutions, salads and fresh-cut produce offers a wide variety of products geared toward consumers looking for simple ways to incorporate fresh, healthy foods into their diet.
“We strive to give consumers the freedom to eat healthier so they don’t have to give up their favorite family recipes,” Simpson said. “Today, it has never been easier to balance holiday indulgence with healthier sides and smaller meals, such as ready-to-eat salads and single-serve snack packs.”
The brand’s Complete Salad Kits offer an easy and nutritious side dish option, and its Bistro Bowl® salads are created to help consumers indulge while still offering healthy choices. Including fruits and vegetables in holiday meals is among the American Heart Association’s tips for navigating the holiday season in a healthy way.
Now that the holiday season has come to a close, the desire to eat healthy is especially high as consumers resolve to be more active, lose weight and watch what they eat. Weight was the number one reason for eating healthier during the 2016 holiday season, with 38% of survey respondents saying they made their meals healthier this year because they were watching their weight.
Ready Pac Foods line of elevĀte™ premium salads is positioned to appeal to consumers who want to jumpstart their health. The collection of eight ready-to-eat superfood salads pair kale, spinach and other dark leafy greens with grains, fruits and nuts for flavorful bowls packed with nutrition.
“Our elevĀte™ superfood salads offer consumers the fresh, organic, nutrient-dense options they are demanding,” Simpson said. “The eight single-serve salad varieties provide an affordable and satisfying way to help keep New Year’s resolutions.”
Other findings from the survey include:
- Millennials are most interested in healthy eating: Nearly one-third of millennials planned to make healthier choices during the holiday season, compared to 23% of Generation X respondents and 19% of baby boomers.
- Families with children were more likely to make over the holiday menu: Households with children were 10% more likely to make this year’s holiday feast healthier than last year, with 30% of respondents with children saying they planned to eat healthier this year.
- Men indulge in meat, while women splurge on sides: Hearty meats were the one holiday food item that 42% of men said they “can’t live without.” Side dishes such as macaroni and cheese and stuffing proved most popular with women, with 34% citing sides as their must-have holiday food.
If you enjoyed this article, join SmartBrief’s email list for more stories about the food and beverage industry. We offer 17 newsletters covering the industry from restaurants to food manufacturing.