Many consumers shop with their values first. In March 2019, 71% of US consumers said that they take sustainability into consideration when making food purchases at least occasionally. This sentiment rose to 78% in March 2020, and to 83% in April. For some, these sustainable solutions are built into the business model, while others are adapting to make a difference. Needless to say, sustainability is an important aspect for restaurants, and grocers to account for.
Saving the Seas
German grocery chain, Lidl, is currently repurposing ocean-bound plastic as food packaging. In partnership with Copernus, they will use this packaging for 13 different products among their fresh fish line. This initiative will prevent roughly 2.5 million plastic bottles from ever reaching the ocean. By 2025, Lidl wishes to use recycled materials on 50% of their products, and this brings them closer to their goals.
Behind The Scenes
Winnow Solutions uncovered that 70% of food waste occurs before it even reaches the customer’s plate. Overproduction is also a huge issue, enabling waste to accrue in the restaurant space. Food metric rating system, Fresh, is an early innovator in the fight against excess food waste. Their ability to measure the sustainability of products, as well as implement metrics for optimal portion size, is a great step toward cutting waste.
Chicago restaurant, Uncommon Ground, proudly sources their own honey, veggies, herbs and more. Their rooftop garden is home to two beehives, and also houses many flowers like marigolds and sunflowers. Their produce is used in a variety of ways, whether it be just a simple dish or even a cocktail. This enables them to limit their waste to the best of their ability. Truly experiential dining, guests can also enjoy an in house organic beer. Both of their Chicago locations capture the spirit of sustainability.
We’re still learning new ways to sustainably satisfy not just consumers, but the world around us. As businesses continue to go green, the innovation that will ensue is just scratching the surface. But in the long run, let’s just enjoy some good food that’s fighting for a change.