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Plant-Forward Meals

Our food choices can have a big impact on the planet. In line with the EAT-Lancet’s recommendations about a planet-friendly diet, we are helping to rebalance menus celebrating fruits, vegetables and other plants in our plant-forward offerings.
 

Adopting a plant-forward diet, where plant-based products are the principal ingredients, is one of the simplest steps an individual can take to lower their personal carbon footprint. Consumer demand for plant-based meals is on the rise and we continue to expand our offer of healthy, plant-based menu items.

We are also engaging, educating and exciting consumers to make positive choices, as well as nudging behavioural change through choice design techniques.

Our strategy is guided globally but implemented according to local consumer preferences and value chain approaches.

NUDGING PLANT-BASED PROTEIN CONSUMPTION

Following the success of nutritional labels that inform consumers about the calories, sugar, salt and fat in their meal, we are now experimenting with labelling dishes with environmental information. Since plant protein typically has a much lower carbon footprint than meat, we anticipate that clear communications of a recipe’s carbon footprint will nudge consumers to make more sustainable and planet-friendly meal choices.

  • UK - concluded ecolabelling pilot project with researchers in the Livestock, Environment and People labelling (LEAP) group at the University of Oxford. We saw positive shifts in consumer behaviour at the 15 industry client sites where we ran the pilot and are now rolling out the trial across more sites.
  • Belgium - added eco-scores to point of purchase labels, backed up with QR codes linking to more detailed information. The eco-scores are also used by our Head Dietician in menu planning, giving transparent and accurate oversights of the proportion of plant-based ingredients in any meal.
  • Switzerland - partnered with Eaternity to measure the climate impact of our meals and use their logo on menus in 25 of our restaurants. We will expand our use in the year ahead.
  • Sweden - use the RISE climate database to plan our menus and proactively communicate the carbon footprint to consumers. Inspired by WWF’s One Planet Plate, we have challenged ourselves to cut the carbon footprint of our meals to an average of just 500 grammes CO2e.

USA: CHANGE CAN BE DELICIOUS

We have partnered with Arizona State University and Google Food to train our chefs to be more plant-forward in their menu planning. We have created a virtual series – RePlant Your Menu – which focuses on sustainability, nutrition, and connecting our food choices to planetary health. As one chef noted: “We definitely feature more plant-forward menu options after taking the training. I view it as more than just ingredients in a recipe now; I look at how the ingredients affect our planet and how they can potentially reduce our carbon footprint.” For Morrison Healthcare’s 850 hospitals in the USA, we have devised six new plant-forward dining concepts – or Power Brands – that celebrate six different vegetables, including cauliflower, beetroot, and mushrooms. Each concept makes use of the stalks, leaves and skins of the vegetable across the different dishes, providing texture, taste and excellent nourishment, while creating little or no food waste. The flavours and style of each dish take plant-forward to a whole new level by aligning with current food trends. For example, the Cauli Club concept features a crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich made with cauliflower steak and blue cheese sauce on a brioche bun – as likely to be found in a trendy restaurant as a healthcare setting.

FRESH: THE FOOD REFORM FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND HEALTH PROGRAMME

Our Group CEO, Dominic Blakemore, is an Executive Committee member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), ensuring that we play a key role in creating positive systemic change towards healthier, more sustainable food systems around the world.

Our Vice President of Nutrition and Wellness for North America, co-chairs the Positive Consumption workstream of WBCSD’s Food and Nature, Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FReSH) project. FReSH is the leading global business initiative developing a series of ambitious, action-oriented solutions aimed at delivering healthy and sustainable diets to all, in alignment with science-based targets.  

The workstream incorporates insights from behavioural science and economics, and considers multiple food choice drivers, including personal preference, social pressures, convenience, and affordability. Over the past months, together with the members joining the Positive Consumption action area, we developed the report “Food Labeling:  Principles to support the uptake of healthy and sustainable diets”, a high-level assessment of existing nutrition and environmental impact labels, with a focus on the recent proliferation of scoring labels (e.g., traffic light systems), as well as the evidence to date on the factors that affect the efficacy and uptake of food labels.

As the world’s leading food service company, we are uniquely positioned to test and implement the solutions proposed by FReSH and are now planning to expand the impact of the programme beyond the USA, starting with Asia Pacific.