How Operators Can Deliver on Diners’ Demands for Sustainability

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Nowadays, customers care about the state of the environment even more than they have in the past.  According to First Insight’s recent report, three-quarters of Gen Z consumers said that sustainability was more important to them than the brand name when making purchase decisions.

College and university foodservice operators have their work cut out for them -- consumers in the C&U space expect and demand sustainability. Increasing plant-based meals and plant-based options easily caters to that demand. Plant-based alternatives have become table stakes for remaining competitive, regardless of supply chain issues or the hassle of menu overhauls. Here’s what operators need to know about consumer demands for sustainability—and how to meet those demands.

The demand for sustainability continues to grow

Desire for sustainable food choices continues to grow and intensify. 63% of consumers of all ages state that they would choose a plant-based alternative for ethical reasons, according to a Financial News Media article from March 2022. In fact, a staggering 90% of consumers are concerned about seafood sustainability, according to Datassential’s 2022 Environment Report. The International Food Information Council (IFIC) found, as part of their 2022 Food and Health Survey, that Gen Z demonstrates an even stronger concern for sustainable dining choices than older generations. Operators must address diners' needs and desires by using sustainable sources and suppliers, and then communicate that to diners.


Gen Z  sustainability  consumer spending

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