Why are sustainable diets becoming more important?
There’s a strong case for sustainable eating and plant-based diets, not only from a health perspective but also from an environmental one – especially as consumer awareness of both health and environmental issues remains heightened by the pandemic.
The Sustainability Index cites the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems report, which says that food production is the world’s largest cause of environmental change, accounting for 20-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions and up to 66% of water usage1.
The report finds that vegan and vegetarian diets see the greatest reduction in land use and greenhouse gas emissions, while vegetarian diets use the least water. And the industry is taking note, with Michelin this year launching a Green Star for restaurants leading the way in sustainable practices.
Sustainable diets are a key trend in the foodservice industry
The 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index in association with Nestlé Professional shows that there is an opportunity for operators to champion sustainable diets not only as part of a flexitarian offering but also to tie into government initiatives to tackle both obesity and environmental issues. Despite headaches caused by lockdowns and closures, the report’s research found more than half (52%) of industry leaders agree that sustainable diets are still a key industry trend.
Meanwhile, the quality of products on offer continues to get better and better.
Katya Simmons, MD, Nestlé Professional UK and Ireland says:
“We, together with our foodservice partners, consider it vital that consumers see vegan and vegetarian dishes delivering on taste, health and sustainability, all whilst being great value for money. This is so customers feel ‘the money I am paying for it is absolutely reasonable, justifiable’.
“We’ve also worked hard to ensure our products meet a number of nutrition targets, such as high in protein; a source of fibre; not high in fat, saturated fat or sugars; and we are working towards salt targets.”
“Our nutrition team and development chefs have worked together to develop a range of delicious, balanced recipe ideas under 600kcal; each providing two portions of fruit and vegetables.”
Healthy and sustainable plant-based alternatives are one aspect that can contribute to a healthy and sustainable diet, however, the concept of sustainable diets is more complex. Read more about Sustainable Diets – and the full 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index in association with Nestlé Professional.
Help promote sustainable eating with Garden Gourmet
As part of Nestlé’s wider commitment to accelerate our sustainability journey, we are on track for plant-based range Garden Gourmet to become a carbon neutral certified brand by 2022.
To get there, we are taking several steps, which include reducing CO2-equivalent emissions by implementing actions such as European sourcing for key ingredients and carbon offsetting to balance these emissions. We are investing in projects to promote biodiversity and we will also ensure all packaging is fully recyclable by the end of this year.
Taste and nutritional value are also important. The Garden Gourmet range includes burgers, mince, filet pieces, breaded filets and meatballs and are made using soy protein, which is a great choice for plant-based products, as it is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids in the right proportions.
Our products also contain no red front-of-pack labels and are classed as non-HFSS (high in fat, sugar or salt) according to the Government’s nutrient profiling model.
Whether consumers are choosing a plant-based lifestyle for health reasons, moral values, personal preference or to protect the environment, it’s essential companies like ours develop great-tasting meat alternatives that are nutritious and sustainable to suit many preferences and budgets.
Discover more about plant-based nutrition with our article and find out how you can make sustainable eating a delicious proposition with these plant-based menu ideas for your customers.