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Catering for sustainability

Meat-free options and ethical standards prove a draw for young UK diners
Catering for sustainability

Half of millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) are more likely to eat out in venues where they are told about where the food on their plate comes from, according to the results of a new survey carried out by Populus on behalf of WWF-UK.

The case for sustainable meals

The survey also found that 53% of millennials are more likely to eat at a restaurant, café or canteen if meat has been reared to high animal welfare standards. One in five would like to see restaurants offer an entirely meat-free day.

The findings accompany the release of a new report, Catering for Sustainability, from WWF-UK, Sodexo UK & Ireland and the Food Ethics Council. The report sets out a clear business case for sustainable meals – and shows that adopting sustainable menus can improve business revenues and profits while also mitigating supply chain risks.

‘There’s a clear trend towards sustainable consumption in the UK – and this is great news for our health and the environment. Smart businesses will be taking steps to capitalise on the demand for ethical sustainable sourcing, meat-free options and more information about health and nutrition.

Food Sustainability Advisor at WWF UK

The report recommends that foodservice companies pilot sustainable menus, remove ingredients that are unsustainably sourced and share examples of best practice across the industry.

Plant-based options

20% of millennials say they intend to eat less meat over the coming year, representing a significant opportunity for foodservice companies to make vegetables a central part of their menu. Of those planning to cut down on meat, 68% reported that they wanted to be able to choose plant-based options from the menu.

‘Most people in the UK eat out at work canteens, fast food outlets or high-end restaurants. The choices offered there have huge impacts not just on our own health, but on the health of the planet.

‘Our research shows that foodservice companies stepping up to the plate and offering ‘better’ sets of choices to customers are likely to be more profitable in the long run.’

Executive director of the Food Ethics Council

The survey revealed strong demand for more sustainable menus across all age groups and social classes, challenging assumptions that it’s only those with bigger budgets who care about where their food comes from.

Click here to read the full report, Catering for Sustainability – making the case for sustainable diets in foodservice.

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