A Waikato health food business is benefiting from consumers’ changing food philosophy and expanding into Tamahere.
Two Birds Eatery, an allergy-friendly raw and whole foods cafe in Hamilton East that opened in March 2014 has grown quickly.
The cafe in a corner of the Clyde Street shopping centre is increasingly popular with queues for tables on weekends.
The demand for the treats led 24-year-old owner Jojo Gittings to expand the business, taking over the lease of wedding venue and restaurant Narrows Landing in Tamahere, reported the Waikato Times.
The plan is to transform the restaurant at the site into a cafe, similar to the Hamilton East eatery.
“We will be running it as it is currently … but we will opening a cafe, which will have our twist on things,” Gittings said.
Towards the end of the year Gittings plans to start a health retreat on the Tamahere site, where people can spend a weekend doing yoga and learn to cook raw and whole foods.
Tickets for recently launched healthy food cooking classes sell out within hours.
Gittings started the business after seeing a gap in the market for a trend that was growing overseas.
“We were opening something that had been done overseas but there was nothing here.
“When I first started people used to come in and sort of turn their noses up at it.”
That changed pretty quickly.
Massey University’s Institute of Food Science and Technology senior research officer Dr Jaspreet Singh said the rise in popularity of raw and whole foods was due to beneficial effects, such as high dietary fibre and resistant starch which is high in uncooked or unprocessed foods such as whole grains.
Several nutrients were also retained in unprocessed foods, he said.
“In developing or poor countries, where the incidence of metabolic disease is lower, the tradition of consuming raw or minimally processed food is still popular.”
The Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report released late last year, showed 66 per cent of respondents were willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies with a proven commitment to positive social and environmental impact.
Millennials – people born from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s – are the most willing to pay more for sustainable products, despite growing up in one of the most difficult economic climates of the last century, the report says.