GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a Nielsen global survey, 39% of American consumers are working to incorporate more plant-based foods in their diets. Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, launched its new plant-based menus in hundreds of accounts across its Universities, Healthcare, and Corporate Services segments. The new menus featuring 200 plant-based recipes were created in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab (WRI), to meet consumer demand for plant-based options and reduce the environmental impact of food offerings.
Watch this video on Sodexo's launch of 200 Plant-Based Recipes
Food production accounts for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and helping people increase the share of plant-based foods in their diets is a critical step in reducing those emissions. "By increasing the proportion of plants in a dish, we help address some of the world's most pressing challenges," shared John Wright, senior vice president, global food platform, Sodexo. "This approach aligns with the sustainability and wellness commitments embedded in our Love Of Food platform."
Stanford University found that simply changing the name of vegetables to sound more appealing increased the number of diners opting for plant-based choices by up to 41 percent. Choices on Sodexo's new menus include "Chesapeake Cakes," "Smoky Black Bean Tamales," "Carrot Osso Buco," and "Kung Pao Cauliflower."
"The current language set used to describe plant-based food isn't creating the right stimulation in consumers' brains to drive curiosity for trying new dishes," explained Daniel Vennard, director Better Buying Lab at the World Resource Institute. "Our work with Sodexo in testing naming conventions demonstrated that even a small change could significantly increase willingness to select a plant-based option."
Talented chefs from HSUS and Sodexo's culinary team worked together to develop, test and perfect the 200 plant-based recipes that appeal to not only flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans, but also general consumers. In one of many examples, the chefs created a Mexican-themed menu featuring dishes such as jackfruit and avocado tortas, chipotle quinoa burrito bowls, and garlic-roasted cauliflower burritos.
"We are especially proud to expand this program with Sodexo. For more than a dozen years, we have worked closely with Sodexo to improve the welfare of animals and with this latest step, the company has once again shown its commitment," said Ken Botts, Humane Society of the United States, Director Food and Nutrition-Food Service.
As a leader in food service, Sodexo's ability to scale and reach tens of millions of customers per day will ensure that plant-based options are available to more people than ever before in North America. Unilever, a Sodexo supplier and client, will be one of the first locations to feature the new plant-based menu at its corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
"Offering healthy and sustainable meals is part of our global Better Tomorrow 2025 roadmap for how we improve quality of life for individuals and address the challenge of climate change at the same time," explained Ted Monk, vice president, sustainability and corporate responsibility, Sodexo North America. "However, the most exciting aspect is that our customers get to experience new foods with new flavors along with creative adaptations of their existing favorites, with more and better choices overall in the marketplace."
The new plant-based menu items are one example of Sodexo's "Love Of Food," a consumer-centric approach that embraces fantastic food, healthy and balanced choices, and culinary innovation among its team of global chefs.
Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 72 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. The company employs 150,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $9.2 billion in goods and services from small to large American businesses. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct. In support of local communities across the U.S., the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed close to $32 million over the past 20 years to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit SodexoUSA.com, SodexoInsights.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.