The survey asked venue respondents a series of questions regarding health choices available to delegates through menus and types of event spaces. The results reveal nutrition and wellbeing are high priorities for delegates, and food that improves mental clarity and concentration levels is growing in popularity.
According to the report, venues are receiving more requests for foods that go beyond nutritional density. Delegates are demanding foods that deliver superior wellbeing benefits through increased nutrient or mineral content.
For example, foods such as walnuts, avocados, quinoa, blueberries, spinach and kale are often referred to as ‘brain foods’, as they may have the potential to positively influence mental clarity, stress-relief and enhance energy distribution. Some 38% of venues said they already offer specific ‘brain foods’ on their menus.
IACC’s CEO, Mark Cooper, said: "Earlier this year, our Meeting Room of the Future research revealed that brain food is important to delegates. Now, through this new research report on delegate nutrition and wellbeing, we see the opportunity to help with delegate alertness and attention is being taken seriously by an increasing number of venues."
Healthy changes to break menus
When asked, ‘Do you include basic nutritional information on your event breakfast, lunch and dinner menus?’ 75% either said they do or plan to in the future. Additionally, 88% said they have made changes to their break menus based on health and wellness trends or feedback from clients.
When asked which food requests they receive more now than two years ago, 100% of respondents answered ‘gluten-free’. Many commented that gluten-free has joined vegetarian as a standard menu choice.
The survey also considered event spaces in relation to delegate health, asking: ‘Does your property consider delegate health and wellbeing when making design decisions such as creating communal interaction areas or public spaces that offer quiet reflection?’
To this question, 100% of responders who are operators of IACC venues said ‘yes’ and their comments confirmed space outside the rooms is being taken into consideration. One respondent said: "We just completed a renovation of our public meetings space and this was a big consideration that led to a redesign of the pre-function space to better accommodate peoples’ ability to stay connected and have more private space to break away from the crowd for some quiet."
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