What the Mindful/Intuitive Eating Trend Means for Your Menu

What the Mindful/Intuitive Eating Trend Means for Your Menu

Have you heard of Mindful Eating (also called Intuitive Eating)? It’s a new, non-diet diet that is helping its proponents appreciate and enjoy food more. While weight loss is not necessarily a goal of Intuitive Eating, some find that focusing on the full sensory experience of food means greater satiety from food; this results in more thoughtful choices and sometimes smaller portions.

What does this mean for your business? 

Even if your customers have never heard of this approach to food as it’s been codified, they are thinking about the foods they enjoy and how those foods make them feel, both physically and mentally. They seek balance and look for foods that support a healthy lifestyle and ingredients that contribute to the health of the planet.

"Toasting" with two chocolate-coated ice cream treats. Text: "34% of consumers agree that food has been a source of comfort to them during the pandemic, and they continue to embrace foods that support their mental well-being. Mintel."

Treat Yourself: Snacks for Emotional Health

These days, mental and emotional wellness are getting as much attention as tending to our physical health. While consumers continue to see the wisdom of reducing their sugar intake, sweet treats are coming out from under their bad raps and enjoying renewed popularity. According to Mintel, “Many people turn to sweet treats when they feel anxious, and some studies show that sugar can act as a stress reliever by reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.” For the modern customer, not just any sweet item will do - consumers are evaluating their options, and need to feel that their choices for snacks and treats are, as Prue Leith of The Great British Bake Off often says, “worth the calories.”

This is an incredible opportunity for chefs and bakers to go all-out making incredible desserts, confections, and baked items with the best possible ingredients: high-quality, unique, flavorful, and produced and sourced in ways that are sustainable and support workers, farmers, and the environment.

Text on red background: "The goal is to make offerings compatible with consumers' health goals without compromising on all-important taste, texture, and scent - the hallmarks of indulgent food." Foresight Factory

Worth the Calories: Ingredients for a truly indulgent experiences

Your customers are asking for a great deal from their snacks! They want superior flavor and unique experiences while maintaining their health and staying true to their values. While this may seem like a big ask, the tools and ingredients you need are not only accessible but affordable. And many are multitasking powerhouses that can enable you to create products that check all of the boxes.


It’s widely agreed that reducing our sugar intake is an important health goal. Reduced sugar can often mean compromised taste and texture, and this is something that neither artisans nor customers want. Improved research and product innovations mean that it’s no longer necessary to choose treats that are good-tasting OR good-for-you; creating delicious, indulgent low and no-sugar treats is now much easier. Sugar replacers, intensified focus on fruit-based ingredients, and new cooking methods have improved the low-sugar landscape for everyone.

Clean Label

There’s no official definition or set of regulations for “clean” food, but your customers know what it means to them: minimally processed foods with a short list of ingredients comprised of whole foods, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

NXT Dairy-Free Chocolate being poured into a container. Text: "54% of consumers are making an effort to eat more plant-based snacks."


People pursue a plant-based diet for different reasons: to improve their health, to reduce their carbon footprints, because of allergies or food intolerances, or some combination of these. While it’s true that in the past, vegan/plant-based treats haven’t measured up to their animal-based counterparts, this is no longer the case! Plant-based ingredients can offer the same flavor, texture, and workability as conventional products, so you can create treats everyone will love.

Text: 62% of US consumers prefer chocolate that has multiple textures.

Premium Ingredients 
Eating mindfully means customers notice high-quality ingredients, getting the full effect of the complex flavor of ingredients like real vanilla bean, high cacao percentage, and single-origin couvertures.

Textures and inclusions
47% of consumers feel that confections with multiple flavors and textures are more premium. Add-ins such as toasted nuts or a swirl of gooey caramel create a unique and memorable experience. A fun garnish can add texture as well as visual appeal and increases the perceived value of your product.

A cocoa farmer inspects her plants. Cocoa Horizons logo in lower right corner. Text: Doing things right tastes better.


Ingredients that reflect your customers’ values are key to their enjoyment of the product. Today’s consumer is looking for ways to lighten their impact on the environment while also supporting workers and farmers. 

The Cocoa Horizons foundation was created to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through the promotion of sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity, and community development, which protect nature and children.

Cover of the chocolate trends booklet

Balancing Act: options that work for the mind, body, and planet

Ultimately, it’s all about balance. Your customers strive to be healthy, eat mindfully, and support their communities and, at the same time, acknowledge that an indulgent treat can boost emotional and mental health, and they recognize how valuable that is. Explore tips and insights into this trend and discover how you can help them by creating snacks and treats they feel good about indulging in!