Seventy-nine percent of Generation Z are eager to go meatless at least once or twice a week, according to new research conducted by leading American foodservice provider, Aramark.
Around 65 percent would like to focus on eating more “plant-forward” foods and 60 percent would like to reduce their meat intake. According to Aramark, the eating habits are predominantly motivated by health reasons.
In order to better supply Generation Z with the food that they want, Aramark, which provides meals to around 500 university campuses and over 3 million students, has partnered with FarmLogix, a leading provider of sustainable food technology solutions. Together, the companies have launched Open Fields, a new software platform which allows Aramark to track sustainable purchases and increase its access to fresh, sustainably-sourced, local, high-quality produce.
This fall, the supplier will introduce more vegan and vegetarian options for students, including Roasted Butternut Tartine, a Spanakopita Quesadilla, and the Beyond Burger – a plant-based patty that cooks, looks, and tastes like a beef burger.
Aramark is also launching a new mobile and web tool that will allow both students and staff to see which dining options are available nearby, filter by dietary requirements, and tag their favorite locations.
Aramark, which in addition to food, also distributes facilities and uniforms to a number of different fields including healthcare and education, is on a mission to be more sustainable. In July, the company announced its commitment to phase-out single-use plastic. From September, the supply of plastic straws, cutlery, and stirrers will be down-scaled, and eco-friendly alternatives will be offered in their place.
“Aramark shares our guests’ passion to protect and preserve our oceans,” said the company’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer Eric Foss. “[This] announcement provides an opportunity to make meaningful achievements in minimizing our environmental impact, while continuing to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives.”
Further, as well as the health of the planet, the supplier also cares about the health of its customers. In May, it released a series of vegan grilling tips in collaboration with the American Heart Association in a bid to improve heart health throughout the nation without having to sacrifice flavor.