GMO, HFCS, MSG, BHA and BHT – what do all of these initials mean? Consumers today recognize these acronyms as food additives that have negative, long-term health effects on the human body. There has been a significant outcry for uncontaminated, or “cleaner,” food and a level of transparency when it comes to packaging and marketing products and dishes – this demand is what the Whole Foods® supermarket chain refers to as “transparency 2.0.”
There is an emerging expectation for foodservice operations to become more evident regarding the food they serve; from Fair Trade Certified labels or nutritional information on menus and an open kitchen layout. Making the move to cleaner ingredients attributes trust and honesty with your brand, but let’s not forget that it helps keep quality and freshness top-of-mind for foodservice operators. You don’t want to advertise something as clean-label, when it’s not; that could get you in (viral) trouble.
Making moves to be more open and obvious about your ingredients doesn’t necessarily need to be a major overhaul. Start with baby steps and consider:
- Brands you typically use might have ready-to-use marketing collateral that can assist you in your quest to be more transparent – don’t hesitate to seek it out. For example, Kellogg’s Gardenburger® and Morningstar Farms® brands have customizable tools like digital menu boards, posters and recipe cards that you can use to encourage customers to “make the flip” from a beef burger to a plant-based one – a more sustainable choice.
- Looking for opportunities to feature food with a story. One way to bring a higher level of transparency to consumers’ dining experiences is to educate them about where the produce was grown, along with sharing stories about individual farmers, picking processes, etc. This shows you support the community and care about being transparent, too!
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.