Sustainable snacking | Sustainability in the fast food industry
A list of examples of sustainable initiatives in the fast food industry. From details like sustainable ketchup from The Ketchup Project to fast-food chains that have built their identity around sustainability like HoneyBee Burger and the German chain ‘Hans im Gluck’. Here in the Netherlands we have small sustainable concepts like Pomms’ Rotterdam and the chain Vegan Junk Food Bar. These sustainable initiatives range from putting new sustainable tech in place to climate-neutral burgers and fast-food brands that solely serve vegetarian & vegan food.
With #VeganJanuary, #TryJanuary and the importance of sustainability for our future, a list of concepts worth to try! And as you will read, many of these initiatives have been reported on our website for years. We don’t really get why large companies like The Crown, The Clown and The Colonel have not played a larger part in this development.
3 minutes read
Pomms’ Rotterdam is a cafeteria that mainly focusses on fries, bitterballen and croquettes. Everything is made fresh with as many sustainable ingredients as possible. The croquettes are made with their own recipe and the fries are cut fresh daily. They always mention the potato variety used that day for the fries. Sustainability is an important part of their philosophy, for this they do a number of different things besides offering as much organic as possible. For example, they have their own eco-friendly packaging line, sustainable company clothing, energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and they separate waste. They also use vegetable oil for frying that is processed into bio-fuel after use. A lot of sustainable effort!
A few weeks ago, we stopped by the Dutch VFC’s pop-up bar. We wrote about the start of Vegan Fried Chick*n in London. They sell a vegan version of fried chicken. The ‘chicken’ is made from wheat, this produces three-quarters less emissions than real chicken. So in addition to this already being a lot more sustainable, they use sustainable, reusable and recyclable packaging. As an ethical company, it is important for VFC to do good and taste good. They had Mondra (A data-driven insights platform that supports food system players to meet their carbon neutrality goals, communicate their performance and drive planet-positive profits.) conduct an audit to find out how VFC performs against traditional fried chicken. They found, gram for gram, that VFC is better for the planet on every environmental metric. Now available at the Dutch supermarket AH. You can find more about VFC on their website, (link in the title(. We already got to taste it and found it incredibly tasty!
Max Burgers is Sweden’s oldest fast food chain, it has been around since 1968. Their burgers are ‘climate-positive’. They do this by taking action in three different ways. First, they measure 100% of their product emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions in their calculations. Second, they reduce their emissions, continuously thinking of new solutions to reduce emissions. Third, they capture at least 110% of their emissions by planting trees that absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. More information is on their website, (link in the title). We wrote about their climate positive burger back in 2018.
Chipotle Mexican Grill recently announced that it will start testing advanced technologies to improve employee and guest experience by streamlining operations and reducing friction. The company recently began testing two new technologies in several restaurants to deliver more accurate forecasting, optimal quality and greater convenience for digital guests. Chipotle does this with a new kitchen management system that makes cooking and ingredient predictions based on demand. This system should optimize product freshness and minimize food waste. The company is simultaneously testing advanced location-based technology to improve app functionality and provide guests with a seamless, convenient experience.
In addition, Chippy, Chipotle’s autonomous kitchen assistant by Miso Robotics, introduced earlier this year has moved on to the next phase of operational testing. Learn more about these initiatives in their press release, (link in title).
Miso Robotics has also created ‘flippy’ for the kitchen of White Castle. When will we see the first robots in the fast food industry here in the Netherlands? We also wrote about their test with plant-based chorizo!
Many restaurants and chains today have a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes but fully plant-based chains like for example ‘Plant Power Fast Food’ and ‘Honeybee Burger’ are not seen often. Here in the Netherlands we have the Vegan Junk Food Bar, with branches in Germany and Spain. But Honeybee Burger like ‘Plant Power Fast Food’ located in California is known for the fact that everything on their menu is prepared with exceptional plant-based ingredients, from their famous cheeseburger to their ice cream cones. They also take people into account who want to eat less soy or are allergic to peanuts, by offering alternatives. In the article about Honeybee Burger (link in the title) from April 2022, they opened their Venice store and this winter they also opened a store in New York City!
SavorEat is a food tech company from Israel. SavorEat’s robot chef is a technological solution to digitally create meat alternatives from non-GMO plant-based proteins, according to individual taste. They focus on the needs of the consumer and put the individual first. For example, through the app, the customer can specify how much fat and protein they like in their burger. They showed the robot chef to the market in late 2021 in collaboration with Israeli burger chain BBB (Burgus Burger Bar). They are also in touch with Sodexo, who feeds students at major American universities, where they have been piloting it for some time. Since we wondered when this kind of system will really be used, we checked on their website to see how it’s doing. Recently, the system was shown at Israel’s Food Tech 2022 show, and in Israel, the system is in place in some cafeterias of high-tech offices, this in cooperation with the Yarzin-Sella catering company. We are eager to see when this robot will demonstrate its abilities in the Netherlands!
In January 2022, Wild & The Moon opened on the Van Woustraat in Amsterdam (link to article in title) and at the end of this year it also opened a restaurant on the Zuidas, Amsterdam’s business district. It is an iconic French food concept with a 100% vegan and gluten-free range. They now have 10 branches in Paris, three in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The menu is 100% plant-based and 100% gluten-free: from the juices, super bowls, soups and salads to the desserts and snacks. All products are homemade and made from wild, organic, local and pure ingredients. No refined sugars, chemicals or GMO’s are added into their products, and no gluten and no milk are used.
Ketchup is part of a good burger. We spotted a sustainable, honest product, The Ketchup Project. More than 50% of fruit and vegetable harvests in Kenya are thrown away due to unstable sales markets. To reduce waste and post-harvest losses, The Ketchup Project develops local hubs to dry tomatoes and mangoes to extend the fruit’s shelf life by 1.5 years to ensure the entire harvest can be utilized. The project now has three flavors of ketchup, developed with Michelin-starred chef Mohsine Korich: tomato ketchup, mango ketchup and smokey ketchup. The ketchup is for sale at (web) stores such as Picnic, Bidfood and Instock Market, it can also be tasted at various catering establishments in the Netherlands and is part of the HelloFresh meal boxes. It is a sustainable, healthy and fair alternative to the common ketchups in the Netherlands, which are often produced in China in an environmentally and human-unfriendly way. Have you tasted it yet?
We recently wrote about Hans im Glück, a burger restaurant in Germany. Since they opened in 2010, they have been pioneering the industry in terms of sustainability. For example, they have a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes, a burger created with insect pate and biodegradable drinking straws.
In addition to this, they have also been serving the WEGWEISER, their climate neutral burger, for some time. It is a vegetarian burger made from falafel and is served on a brioche bun with different vegetables and sauce. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?