The pandemic has transformed many aspects of people’s lives, from working and shopping to diet and nutrition.
In the new normal, people have learned to adapt to these changes to continue their everyday lives. For example, they are now taking care of basic needs, such as nutrition, by opting for food and grocery delivery. Likewise, they have been making healthy diet changes to ensure their body is strong enough to ward off diseases and protect against infections.
With the massive changes in environmental conditions, continuous improvements in convenience, and increased availability of healthy food options, nutrition intervention has never been more needed.
What is Nutrition Intervention?
Nutrition interventions are situational health actions. They aim to positively change nutrition-related behaviors, risk factors, environmental conditions, or aspects of individuals’ health status by providing nutritional delivery, education, counseling, and coordination.
These strategies alter or enhance nutritional intake, nutrition-related knowledge, environmental conditions, or access to nutritional care and services.
Nutrition intervention is accomplished in two (2) steps: planning and implementing. Planning involves diagnosis, determining outcomes, defining intervention strategies, identifying resources needed, and more, while implementation consists of communication of the plan and its execution.
Nutrition Intervention in the New Normal
COVID-19 brought fear to sectors to all over the world. Elements of nutritional intervention were not excluded from the disruptions brought by the pandemic. In fact, innovations in the accessibility of quality food and increased demand and consumption of healthy food bring a new normal to nutritional intervention.
However, during these trying times, the food industry and consumers found creative ways to have food delivered to consume much-needed nutrition.
Innovations in Service Delivery
Getting restaurant-quality food delivered to consumers’ doorsteps was not unheard of a couple of years ago. However, it was mainly limited to fast food such as pizza, fried chicken, fries, burgers, pasta, and other easily prepared or ready-to-eat fare.
It took an unlikely combination of a fast-spreading pandemic and the emergence of convenient, user-friendly apps to bring innovation in service delivery and cement ready-to-eat food as a major part of the food industry. This digital accessibility became the lifeline of many restaurants during the surge of infections and lockdowns and the rise of work-from-home setups.
Nowadays, online food delivery is a staple for fast, healthy, and high-quality food, giving consumers nutritious options on-demand. For instance, in 2021, online food deliveries in the Philippines generated around Php 16.8 billion in revenue from 2.9 million users of food delivery service apps and 9.3 million users of restaurant-to-consumer delivery.
Studies forecast that the revenue from this market will have an annual growth rate of 9.12%, resulting in a projected market volume of around Php 26 billion by 2026.
As the food delivery landscape develops further in the wake of the global pandemic, delivery platforms, restaurants, consumers, and tech will also evolve, addressing new challenges and opportunities that are emerging left, right, and center.
Home Food Production
Like food delivery, home cooking was not exactly new before the pandemic, though strict lockdowns, many days at home, and fear of eating out appeared to increase the number of people cooking their own food.
This rising prevalence in home cooking was largely in part due to people having more free time and reason to experiment in the kitchen. For instance, in the UK, researchers estimate that around 60% of meals were home-cooked before the pandemic. This number increased to 72% in 2020 when COVID-19 cases surged.
In addition, to serve customers who could not dine in due to pandemic restrictions, restaurants created DIY (do-it-yourself) meal kits that allowed consumers to cook easy-to-prepare versions of popular restaurant dishes at home. This food service innovation provides healthier options which are just as accessible as junk or fast food.
The fast-growing meal kit niche shows no signs of slowing down even now that pandemic fears are slowly fading away. Its worldwide revenue is forecasted to grow to around $64.4 billion by 2030.
The spread of COVID-19 raised awareness on the relationship between nutrition and health, thus increasing the number of people who wanted to boost their immunity, especially those with comorbidities. Fortunately, a healthy diet, proper nutrition, and exercise (despite the mobility restrictions) were some of the best ways to battle the deadly disease.
Interest in organic and sustainable food was prevalent during the pandemic, evidenced by growing demand worldwide. During the early stages of COVID-19, organic produce sales in the US increased by 50%, and food retailers in France saw sales growth of over 40%. Meanwhile, in a 2021 survey, 32% of respondents in the Philippines stated that they consumed organic food.
Undoubtedly, many consumers were willing to pay the premium for organic food to complement their efforts to improve their overall health and immunity during the pandemic. However, in a post-pandemic downturn, it is unpredictable whether consumers will become more price sensitive or look for value when shopping for food.
Transition Nutrition to the New Normal
Adapting to changes is necessary to keep up with the times, and one should not think twice when these changes, improvements, or advancements involve nutrition. Fortunately, healthy and better nutrition is more accessible now than ever, and gone are the days when only unhealthy food was available on-demand and nutritious and organic food were hard to find.
As varied options for good nutrition becomes more accessible, people can find more ways to develop healthy habits, build immunity, and protect against serious health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
To learn the best and safest ways to develop a healthy diet, increase nutritional intake, lose weight, and protect against diseases, visit the weight management clinic of Makati Medical Center, a world-class healthcare facility and medical services provider in the Philippines. MakatiMed also offers prescription bundled meals customized by Physicians depending on the patient’s medical condition or diet goals. To know more about The Healthy ReXipes, contact the MakatiMed Nutrition & Dietetics Department at +632 8888 8999 locals 3905 and 7042. Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-147637 Series of 2022.