RDN’s: The Secret Ingredient in Today’s Food and Beverage Industry

2019 is an exciting time for food and nutrition. As someone who follows both consumer and food trends closely, we are entering a time when the demand for convenience is FINALLY merging with the demand for healthy options. The 2019 “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian found that healthy officially outweighs both cost and taste when making food decisions. Perceived health benefits of food have never been so powerful.

Research also shows that consumers believe that the food they eat is at the core of overall wellness. The role of technology in this shift can’t be ignored. Consumers count on it to stay informed and use it as they make food purchasing decisions – often in real time.  They are constantly seeking information about foods, the health benefits they provide, and how they can incorporate them into their daily lives to improve their own health. Purchasing decisions are made with food as medicine top of mind.

Consumers also demand convenience. People have limited time for grocery shopping, meal prep, and menu planning. Our mobile lifestyles require food to be portable and able to be consumed from wherever the day’s schedule lands us. Individually portioned servings and user-friendly packaging and preparation are essential. Healthy food must be easy.

These consumer trends are definitely making an impact on emerging food trends. The demand for healthy convenience is clearly reflected in the grocery store. Healthy options are everywhere and it is becoming easier to eat well while on the go. As a nutrition expert, I will say that there are so many “right” things happening this year in food. It’s clear that food and beverage companies are working to provide consumers with the healthy options that they want.

As brands evolve to meet consumers’ healthy demands, the role of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDNs) in business becomes even more important. RDNs are the most influential sources in terms of motivating consumers to incorporate healthful foods and food components in their diet. They are also skilled at communicating the potential benefits of foods and food components, especially those that relate back to their top health concerns. Most importantly, RDNs lend the guarantee that food and beverage companies are making decisions based on science.

Similar benefits are seen with consumers. When a health-minded consumer approaches a food purchasing decision with the confidence that a brand is aligned with a nutrition expert, it builds trust. A RDN offers consumers confidence in accurate and credible information and a clear understanding of how a particular product will impact their health. The result is a genuine and powerful connection between brands and their customers in the area that is most important to them, health.  

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists offer a wealth of resources to food and beverage companies. We are experts in predicting trends and bring a clear understanding of the role of health in consumer behavior. We are skilled educators and communicators who know how to motivate consumers for positive behavior change. Our expertise and insights are valuable assets to the future of the food and beverage industry.

Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD

A Registered Dietitian supporting nutrition businesses with impactful content and marketing strategy.