The idea of sustainable diets that combine food that is healthy for both people and planet is slowly but surely building traction and is a key emerging trend. Veggie dishes and meat-light menus are proliferating across foodservice with operators across the spectrum from Wetherspoon and Pret A Manger to Sodexo and Vacherin increasing these types of more planet-friendly offerings. There is also the emergence of a new type of consumer – the flexitarian – who makes vegetables, not meat, the mainstay of their diet and who wants delicious food that meets these criteria when eating out.
Food production and distribution, including growing crops and raising livestock, manufacturing fertilizer, and storing, transporting and refrigerating food and land use change, is responsible for between a fifth and a third of global emissions. Animal products are in the spotlight because these typically have a much larger environmental footprint than plant based foods and other protein sources. The sheer scale of the impact of food means that the food industry has a significant role and responsibility in helping to meet the commitments of the Paris Accord, which aims to limit average global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Shifting towards sustainable diets is therefore a business and moral imperative, but it is one that provides a significant commercial opportunity.
Download the report: Action on Sustainable Diets