How to demonstrate a commitment to health

A simple, on-trend way to give diners the clean-label options they want

woman on phone in restaurant

From T. Marzetti® Foodservice.

Health-conscious diners now have access to more information than ever. With a few taps and swipes, they can check menus and ingredient lists against the latest health trends and recommendations.

Prompted by the farm-to-table movement, operators are learning that being open about ingredient sources can build diners’ trust. Buzzwords like “locally sourced,” “cage free” and “grass fed” appear next to menu items regularly, and a recent study by the Mintel group found that 84% of Americans seek more natural, less-processed foods.

Transparency is key

Ingredient sourcing was the first wave in diners’ demand for transparency, so it’s only logical that patrons are now pushing for even more information about what goes into their food. Often referred to as the “clean label” movement or “free-from” foods, this trend is born from consumers who care about what their food is not as much as what it is.

The same Mintel group survey provides additional insight regarding the “free-from” and “clean label” trend. Of that survey, 59% of respondents agreed that fewer ingredients meant healthier end results, and 37% said “free-from” foods were worth a more expensive price tag. Millennials and Gen Xers are leading the charge for this movement, with 60% and 55%, respectively, weighing in as most concerned about the issue.

Start “cleaning up” with easy steps 

Bringing the clean-label trend to an operation isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. It requires conversations with product distributors, access to specific “free from” products and, most importantly, time. However, there may be areas that lend themselves to clean label products and recipes more quickly than others.

Fresh, simple offerings, such as salad bars and sides, already contain clean ingredients and are an excellent place to start. Generally, salad dressings and sauces are teeming with artificial flavors and preservatives, but this means committing to clean label salads and sides can be as easy as finding natural dressing and sauce alternatives.

Get the word out

When you do make the change to clean label ingredients, be sure to let your patients and staff know. Use social media to broadcast your dedication to healthy, fresh ingredients. Showcase your commitment to clean options in your dining area and throughout the hospital, from cafeteria-counter signage and table tents to educating hospital staff about the change.

Don’t know where to start?

T. Marzetti® Foodservice now offers eight healthy, on-trend salad dressings made with simply better ingredients. Available in 32 oz. bottles, perfect for the salad bar, or convenient gallons designed for back-of-house, these refrigerated dressings are made without MSG, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, or gluten. Visit for more information.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Students staffing the foodservice department at Rutgers University will soon get an hourly pay bump, as the New Brunswick, N.J., university is raising its wage for student workers to $11 an hour, reports.

The increase will go in effect Jan. 1 and will impact 13,000 students.

The fight to raise wages at the school was spearheaded by student group United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), which is continuing to push the university to increase student wages to $15.

The fight for a $15 wage for student workers has spread at schools throughout the country,...

Industry News & Opinion

After shutting down 265 schools due to ongoing wildfires, the Los Angeles Unified School District kept three schools open on Friday and Saturday to provide meals for students and their families, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At one of the schools, employees and volunteers handed out around 100 meals on Friday and 270 meals on Saturday. The meals included items such as dragonfruit punch, raisins, bananas, sunflower kernels, whole-grain cinnamon graham crackers, sunflower seed butter and fat-free chocolate milk.

Around 80% of students in the district come from low-income...

Sponsored Content
Breakfast chili

From Bush’s Best®.

While decadent plates of French toast and pancakes stacked high will always be breakfast favorites, it’s undeniable that savory breakfast items are on the rise in many foodservice operations. Menu items such as avocado toast and omelets aren’t new, of course, but consumers’ preferences for better-for-you food choices, along with their desire for global flavors, are driving this trend.

According to a recent Technomic Breakfast report, consumer demand for vegetarian ingredients has led to an increase of ingredients like soy, tofu, beans, lentils, seeds,...

Industry News & Opinion

Industry veteran Joseph Fassler, 75, passed away on Dec. 1 after fighting cancer.

Dedicating over 50 years to foodservice, Fassler was the former president and CEO of Phoenix-based Restaura Inc., as well as a former chair of the National Restaurant Association and its Educational Foundation . In addition, he served on the advisory board for Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and on the board of Oklahoma State University’s College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Fassler was given numerous awards throughout his career, including IFMA’s...

FSD Resources