Articles and Information from GA Foods

How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Plan Menus

Posted by Chef Michael Thrash, CEC, CCA, WCEC, PCII on Apr 20, 2017 11:20:21 AM

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Meatloaf with Sofrito Sauce

Boomers and Food
Baby boomers grew up eating meat and potatoes. Their families ate dinner together at the table. Frequently, dessert was served. When they started their own families, they shifted to fast, convenient meals, often consumed on-the-go, leading to the popularity of fast food chains, drive-thrus, and eating in cars. Their diets contained too much fat, sugar, and salt.

Now baby boomers have become more focused on eating healthy meals. They still want convenience, but want more portion-controlled and ready-to-eat meals. They are interested in foods that are low carb, trans fat-free, sugar-free, and non-GMO. Planning menus for baby boomers can be a challenge. Here are some strategies used by GA Foods for planning menus for our boomer clients that may be helpful for your program.

Bold Flavors
Baby boomers want “real cuisine” with more pronounced, bold flavors. Plan menus that utilize the tastes of sweet, sour, bitter, salt, and umami. As one ages, the sweet and salt taste buds tend to be the most reliable, so meals should showcase sour, bitter, and umami. If you aren’t familiar with umami, it is a savory taste. Umami has a pleasurable effect on the overall satisfaction and enjoyment of a meal. Evidence shows that umami not only stimulates appetite, but may also contribute to satiety. Foods rich in umami components are meat, fish, tomatoes, soy sauce, mushrooms, cheeses, and fermented products. Include items like steak with mushroom gravy or cheesy potatoes on your menus.

International Flair
Baby Boomers are more well-travelled than previous generations.  They are also more aware and educated when it comes to foods and ingredients. Baby boomers want more pronounced flavors, but they are not necessarily adventurous diners. The challenge is to transform an “exotic” menu item into something approachable and recognizable. In other words, when planning menus for baby boomers, provide them with an interesting dining experience using foods that are familiar. Several meals offered by GA Foods follow this strategy:

  • Meatloaf with Sofrito Sauce
  • Chicken with Thai Ginger Red Sauce
  • Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken Chorizo

Savory Infusion
While boomers are traditional meat-and-potato lovers, they do not want to eat monotonous meals. Spice up menus with a variety of savory herbs and bold seasonings. For example, GA Foods includes side items like Rosemary Potato Wedges, Cheesy Spinach, and Green Beans with Almonds in their meals to round out the flavor profile.

To learn more about meals from GA Foods or to see our menus, click here.

For more information about baby boomers and the services they want when they retire, download our free white paper, Baby Boomers - How to Meet Their Demands.

 Download Baby Boomer White Paper

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Topics: Home Delivered Meals, Healthy Meals for Seniors, Aging Well, Senior Nutrition, Baby Boomers, Menu Planning

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