Foodservice provider Sodexo—one of the world’s largest multinational corporations which serves millions of meals daily—recently launched plant-based menus comprised of 200 recipes across hundreds of corporate, university, and healthcare cafeterias nationwide. Sodexo developed the recipes in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and environmental organization World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab (WRI), which assisted its culinary team in developing vegan dishes that were sustainability oriented and appealing to consumers. The dishes—such as Chesapeake Cakes, Smoky Black Bean Tamales, Carrot Osso Buco, and Kung Pao Cauliflower—will be mindfully marketed to consumers with specific language to make them more enticing than animal-based options. “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,” WRI director Daniel Vennard said. “Our work with Sodexo in testing naming conventions demonstrated that even a small change could significantly increase willingness to select a plant-based option.” Ted Monk, Sodexo North America Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, explained that the company’s shift toward plant-based options is part of its sustainability and health initiative Better Tomorrow 2025. “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,” Monk said. In addition to hundreds of client cafeterias nationwide, Sodexo’s new plant-based menu is now available at Unilever headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
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