Spa Business Handbook 2020-2021

Page 150

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS In the face of the pandemic, spas are in the position to bring nutrition centre stage with a focus on holistic wellbeing. Cornell University’s Heather Kolakowski details the latest in nutritional trends and science


150 spa business HANDBOOK 2020 – 2021

product offerings, such as healthy foods and nutritional education, can help sustain the brand awareness of a spa during a time when it may be forced to reduce its in-person guest interactions.

The Mediterranean diet and plant-forward offerings While some spas are focused more specifically on weight loss, many more have the opportunity to promote overall healthy eating habits for their guests. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthy eating plans recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 to promote health and prevent chronic disease, and has been consistently ranked by the US News & World Report as one of the best overall diets. This diet is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.

Plant-forward, while not a new concept in the spa world, continues to rise in popularity in the mainstream food service sector, lending itself to unique offerings in the spa market. According to Technomic’s ‘50 Menu Trends to Watch’ in the third quarter for 2020, plant-based items such as coloured chickpeas, banana blossoms as a meat substitute, plant-based caviar, and yarrow, to name a few, are on the rise in popularity on menus. Continuing the trend of focusing on local, sustainable and organic food offerings in spa menus will also be important, in addition to the added factor of how climate change is affecting the food supply.

Anti-inflammatory/immune boosters Our immune systems require balance and harmony to work effectively. While there is a lot of discussion about how

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he pandemic has impacted the ways spas conduct their programming and structure their in-person offerings and as people seek to better their health, the role of nutrition has become increasingly important in this wellness space. Many well established spas, such as Canyon Ranch in the US, have offered healthy cuisine, as well as diet and nutrition educational programmes, to guests. The pandemic has heightened the desire to boost and maintain health to withstand illness, and spas are in a position to address this need. Remote-access settings like podcasts or Zoom meetings to discuss healthful eating and to offer virtual programming when in-person experiences are limited can reach further than the traditional market for a spa. This opportunity to have a broader target market to promote

Plant-forward dishes can provide colourful options for spa guests