Catering for sustainability: Exploring the business cases for adopting and promoting sustainable diets in the foodservice sector
This report aims to understand whether, why and how sustainable diets are promoted by individual foodservice companies, and to assess the business cases for adopting and promoting sustainable diets across the sector.
Written by the Food Ethics Council and commissioned by the WWF-UK and Sodexo UK & Ireland it seeks to understand the policy environment and other external drivers of change in the industry while also making recommendations for foodservice within businesses, as well as across their stakeholders and the industry as a whole.
The report commissioned a survey which included 2,000 adults, representative of the UK population; it found that meat-free options and ethical standards have power to attract millennials eating out - around one-fifth of 18-34 year olds say they intend to eat less meat over the coming year.
Other business cases identified in the report through interviews with senior foodservice sector personnel and opinion leaders in the field, can be grouped into three areas:
- Delivering turnover growth by differentiating the product offer, enhancing brand reputation and building customer loyalty, stimulating customer demand, and securing investment.
- Mitigating risks and increasing resilience by ensuring quality and security of supply, increasing the integrity of supply chains, reducing regulatory risks, reducing the risks to reputation, and maintaining the licence to operate.
- Maintaining and improving profit margins by improving staff motivation and retention, making efficiency savings, using lower or same cost ingredients, and reframing costs
While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.