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Menus of Change Series: Transparency

Menus of Change Series: Transparency

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Last Published: 12/10/2018

Menus of Change Series: Transparency

The first principle of healthy, sustainable menus is transparency.

Be transparent about sourcing and preparation. Consumer engagement is driven by the rise of food safety, a growing interest in sustainability and food ethics. Providing customers with abundant information about food production methods, sourcing strategies, calorie and nutrient values, labor practices, animal welfare, and environmental impacts is a necessity in our technology-driven era. Today’s hyper-connectivity yields instant access to information such as impending drop failures, or the latest farm-labor condition across global supply chains. Consumers can learn about what they eat regardless of the what chefs and businesses share. Given that, foodservice operators can build trust by learning about environmental and social issues in the food system first and sharing information about their own practices.

Identifying the farms that grow key ingredients, for example, is a strategy that creates value and brand identity and one that is quickly becoming a standard practice. Going further and explaining how food is produced and the rationale for sourcing decisions are the best steps. Limiting or restricting information on hot-button consumer issues such as trans fats, genetically modified ingredients, or processing methods are approaches not likely to survive over the long term.

Operators who do not adjust business models and strategies to anticipate the impacts of this accelerating trend risk disappoint the dining public and musty play costly catch-up as such issues assume greater urgency with the public.

Source material for this post: 2018 Menus of Change Annual Report, a publication of Menus of Change, an initiative of the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health. For more information, visit www.menusofchange.org.

Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.

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