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Millennials are opting for ethical sustainable menus

Half of millennials (18 – 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 survey results published today.

The survey, carried out by Populus on behalf of WWF-UK, also found that 53 per cent of millennials are more likely to eat at a restaurant, café or canteen if meat has been reared to high animal welfare standards.

Twenty per cent 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 per cent reported that they wanted to be able to choose plant-based options from the menu.

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, and mitigate supply chain risks.

Nick Hughes, food sustainability advisor at WWF UK said:

“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.

“WWF’s Livewell principles can be easily integrated into meals and recipes offered by the food service sector. Our partner Sodexo is leading the way, and offers a template for others to follow.”

Edwina Hughes, corporate responsibility manager for Sodexo UK and Ireland added:

“Working with WWF we recently piloted a set of ‘Green & Lean’ sustainable meals in our independent schools business, taking popular recipes such as chicken pie and beef lasagne and making small changes to make these meals more sustainable and nutritious. We were pleased with the feedback from students and the wider schools communities, who were happy with the recipes, but also keen to engage with the issue of sustainable eating.”

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

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