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Sustainability in the Foodservice Sector

As sustainability becomes the forefront of a successful business, GCL takes a look at eco-innovative NPD programmes and solutions.

In the last 12 months, sustainability has been at the forefront of everything that we do. On the 1st August 2018, the human race had used up more of the Earth’s resources that it can regenerate within a year. As a result, companies are now striving to be eco-innovative which means activities must result in, or aim to significantly improve environmental protection.

Bottle-Back Scheme

 The UK hospitality market is the main culprit for wasted glass with bars, restaurants are pubs currently throwing away over 200,000 tonnes of glass every year into landfill (Recycle now, 2018). One-way companies are achieving an eco-innovative producer is using eco-incentives from alliances with suppliers. This brings a fresh approach to promotional merchandise creating a one-stop shop for recycled, sustainable and ethically sourced materials. In fact, some suppliers are now promoting schemes whereby when a  customer returns 85% of the bottles that have been used, they shall receive a discount on the following delivery.

Plastic Usage

According to scientists, there is roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic thrown into the ocean annually. Recent studies have shown that only 9% of all plastics are being recycled per year. With media coverage from the news and documentaries, consumers are now moving away from an “it’s okay – I’ll recycle it later” to a proactive stance of not creating waste in the first place.

An independent coffee chain that has banned the use of single-use coffee cups. Sales have dropped by £250,000 but has prevented 125,000 cups going to landfill, sold 40,00 reusable coffee cups and raised £12,000 for a local charity

One company has taken the war on plastics a step further using edible straws with premixed alcoholic drinks. These edible straws will compliment the can flavour profile and be “Instagram worthy”.

Meat Reduction

In the last three years, there has been a notable trend of consumers reducing their meat intake. However, this may be the best result for a sustainable lifestyle.

The food manufacturing industry places a stronger interest in products that they know are going to grow successfully in moving parts of the world. However, it is not a “one size fits all” scheme. Restaurants are now pursuing rarer breeds of meat to ensure rearing creating a biodiverse menu.

Furthermore, we are seeing the rise of lab-grown produce as consumers no longer feel the need to put pressure on animals and farmers and worry about animal welfare standards. Either from plant-based or meat tissue based, consumers are now seeing a blur between farm and lab-grown produce.

For a company to be successful in the next five years it must adopt an effective sustainability policy that is achievable and efficient. If a restaurant was to adopt a CSR policy, then it could find a reduction in costs by 30%. A good relationship between foodservice business owners, local farmers, producers, designers and manufacturers can help to promote environmentally friendly practices, sustainable products and better profits.

At GCL, we aim to work as closely as possible with you to help you achieve your desired goals. Get in touch to know more information.

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April 5, 2019