I will practise honesty today and admit that my business motivation was derived from selfish reasons. My kids were born with massive decay and allergy problems, prompting me to be really careful with their daily food and drink exposures; my Mother has high glucose intolerance and needed me to watch her sugar and calories intake like a hawk because of her sweet tooth and carefree attitude (to put it ever so euphemistically).
The 2 gaps in the mass market Horeca industry today that set me on this Back To The Future journey of providing Rich Extraordinary Natural beverage and desserts are:
#1. Healthy Drinks Are Absent in Mass Market Food Courts and Cafes.
How nice if all the nice sweet flavourful drinks in food courts or food kiosks have Low or Zero sugar content, minimal artificial flavours and colorings so I can be rest assured my friends and loved ones are happily indulging in comforting drinks outside! I won’t have to nag at them or educate them on the cancerous , fat- inducing impact of succumbing to their daily sweet beverages, because great tasting Low sugar choices are easily available and affordable.
#2. Higher Priced Drinks and Desserts Do Not Mean More Natural Ingredients!
If higher priced desserts by default =preservative free, coloring and flavouring free rich tasty desserts, think healthy Chendol, Sweet Pumpkin ice cream, Blueberry lattes using real blueberries instead of the commonly artificial flavour-doused colorful treats, I will feel free like a bird when I bring my mother and children out for that afternoon tea or after exams treat.
Really, is it true that healthy choices are not favoured by the public as what many cafe operators have reflected to us or is it because there are not enough tasty healthier drinks and desserts available?
Most people associate with Healthier Choices as bland, fit-for-hospitalised people food. When dining in a group, some may even purposely avoid the healthier choices so as to put up a ” I Am Still Healthy” front to others.
On the other hand, if we are socially framed to think healthier food as the “cooler, hippier and tastier” choice, the above gaps will become easy opportunities for food operators to tap on this millenial healthier food choice revolution!
Right now, lots of work still needs to be done in dispelling the myths that natural, rich tasting, preservative beverage supplies (including dessert!) are out of range for the everyday food stall like your nasi lemak coffeeshop. hot dog kiosk or food court drinks stalls.
True to speak, the less chemical-laced products may definitely be at a cheaper price point, however, it does not mean that your customers are not willing to fork out a little bit more for better quality food.
You Don’t Understand! Our Customers Are Very Price Sensitive! We have Tried Increasing Price by just 10 cents and Suffered Criticisms.Coffee Shop Owner
Increasing price without communicating better value of the same product is not the same as giving a better product and passing on the higher cost to those who values the new benefits. Many cafe managers are confused by the topic of price increment, thinking immediately that their customers only want the cheapest drinks and cannot afford anything more.
What if…you can gain a new set of customers and increase your drinks profits by converting people who chose not to consume because they want to cut calories?
What if…you are the first to offer sugar free drinks in a food court, with each drink priced only 20c higher? And this is an affordable increase for all the selfish mothers like me out there?
What if…by offering choices, you indirectly helped your family and your friends to reduce suffering from illnesses and money spent on treatment?!
This is my take on affordable healthier drinks and desserts for the future, which will only happen if all food operators can understand the massive impact they can help bring to their immediate families, friends and society.
Love starts selfishly and turns selflessness into the greater goal. For me, to increase awareness and enable the supply chain for the revolutionary change is just a modest effort to shout out above the turbulent waters.
Common resistances to change, to slightly higher costs and fear of acceptances are all very real. Many restaurant operations feel and see our direction of love.