Sustainable Food Route: Earn with sustainable recipes!

Dutch version: click here.

Integrating and implementing sustainability in your recipe through Menu Engineering and your Food Margin strategy. The focus is on reducing the impact on people and animals, biodiversity, and climate while still achieving a positive result within your F&B outlet. By focusing on sustainability within your recipe, you can save costs, build a sustainable image, create a positive social impact, and stimulate innovation. But how can your organization take a more sustainable path and still maintain your margins?

Menu Engineering and managing your Food Margin can play a role in this. By analysing your menu and rebuilding recipes, the profitability of your organization can even be improved. A first step in this is to look at your ingredients and the production method of these ingredients, such as the use of pesticides and fertilizers. By purchasing more efficiently and processing residual streams into new dishes, food waste can also be minimized. Additionally, it can help to consider the impact of your menu on animal welfare. Can the origin of your ingredients be traced? Or does the information stop at your wholesaler?

Remy Cornet

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”The Sustainable Food Route goes so much further than just a Footprint calculation of your procurement lists”

To make it clear, there are several pillars on which you can integrate sustainability into your recipe:

Seasonal and local ingredients: Using ingredients that are in season and grown locally, reduces the CO2 emissions associated with transporting food over long distances. In addition, seasonal products do not require extra energy to mimic the climate needed to grow when the product is out of season. Without active management, your supplier will deliver what is currently price advantageous or available in terms of stock; unfortunately, these are often not the most sustainable products.

Minimizing food waste: Reducing food waste is an important part of sustainability. You can do this, for example, by purchasing wisely, using leftovers in new dishes, and portioning to prevent unnecessary waste. This can be achieved by incorporating waste processing into your menu development and actively developing recipes for it throughout the year.

Applying different techniques: You can also apply different techniques to use your product more sustainable. For example, you can use fermentation, salting, pickling, and smoking to make your products last longer and reduce food waste. This also creates your own signature that you can value.

Plant-based and organic ingredients: The use of plant-based ingredients and organic farming practices (not all!) contribute to biodiversity and reduce the impact on the environment. Organic is also necessary for better animal welfare.

Impactful products: The production of meat and fish has a major impact on the environment. By reducing the amount of meat and fish and choosing sustainable alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, and legumes, you reduce the environmental impact. Also, keep in mind that the purchase prices of animal proteins are constantly fluctuating and will continue to rise in the future. Your (home-made) meat substitute or carefully prepared vegetables can also be increasingly valued on your menu and are more consistent in terms of purchase price.

Packaging: Sustainable packaging, such as compostable or reusable packaging, is an important part of sustainable recipe development and is strongly influenced by legislation. The costs of disposables and packaging are becoming increasingly heavy on the cost of the product and alternative routes need to be implemented as soon as possible.

What does it yield?

By integrating these standards into your recipe development, you contribute to a more sustainable future for our planet and make a positive impact on the environment and your local community. Additionally, as an organization, you can achieve various long-term benefits and results. A few of these are:

Cost savings: By consciously using the ingredients you choose, opting for seasonal and local produce, you can save costs and optimize your food margin.

Sustainable image: By placing sustainability at the centre of your menu engineering and food concept development, your organization can build a sustainable image. This way, you can attract new customers and retain existing ones who are aware of the impact food has on the environment and society.

Social impact: By choosing ingredients produced in a responsible manner, you can contribute to a better world for humans and animals. This can be achieved by opting for organically grown products, fair trade products, or products from local farmers.

Innovation: By focusing on sustainability in menu engineering, your organization can be innovative in the market and stand out from competitors. This way, you can tap into new markets and achieve a higher turnover.

Biodiversity and climate: By selecting ingredients that contribute to biodiversity and the climate, your organization can have a positive impact on the planet. This can be achieved by choosing products that are sustainably grown and produced and by working with local farmers and producers.

Higher customer satisfaction: When you inform your guests about the sustainable choices you have made within your menu, there is a higher willingness to pay and satisfaction for your organization. This can be achieved, for example, through storytelling on your menu with information about the origin of the ingredients.

Time to move and invest in your own recipes!

These are just a few examples of how you can take small steps towards a more sustainable business operation. There are many more topics with which you can achieve sustainability within your organization. But whether you are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated for sustainability, everyone will have to take action to remain relevant and maintain their existence. Therefore, it quickly becomes important to have transparent data for your guests, set goals within your recipe development, and have a pragmatic action plan for the coming years.

As F&B strategists and concept developers, we can help you with sustainable F&B solutions and operationalizing a sustainable strategy. We do this in a pragmatic and transparent way.

Click here to contact us if you need help with your transition. Join the Sustainable Food Route. 

Sustainable Food Route is an initiative of Conceptional and We Design Food.