By: Nicole Reed, Communications Manager, MenuMax
I came across an article today on QSRmagazine.com, that talked about a growing trend in foodservice. “Humanely raised food” is becoming a hot topic amongst consumers, beating out issues like “buying local” and “organic”. According to the article, “a Technomic study found that animal welfare is the third most important social issue to restaurant patrons, outranking buying local and buying organic by a wide margin”.
The majority of restaurants that are making the move toward using humanely raised food are quick serves. One of the most popular trends I have seen is the use of “cage free” eggs. Restaurant chains from Wendy’s to Panera Bread have been vocal on their use of cage free eggs. While this is a great start there even more ways restaurants can work more humane options into their menus.
While researching this topic I discovered eathumane.org. A fabulous resource from the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Here consumers can look up restaurants and grocer’s that supply humane food products. One of the most interesting things on the site is the breakdown on humane food labels.
The following information is from the eathumane.org website. Their breakdown of the terms are as follows…
A GOOD start
“Cage free” (eggs)
“Free range” (eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey)
“Grass fed” (dairy, beef, lamb)
The “Good Start” labels indicate a meaningful animal welfare standard but the standard covers only one aspect of animal care and compliance with the standard is not verified by a third party.
“Free range” (beef, bison, pork, lamb)
“Pasture raised” (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, pork)
“USDA Organic” (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, pork)
The “Even Better” labels generally indicate a higher level of animal welfare because the standards are more meaningful than those for the Good Start labels, but the standards are either not verified by a third party or cover only a limited aspect of animal care.
The BEST options
“Certified Humane” (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork)
“American Humane Certified” (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork)
“Animal Welfare Approved” (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, beef, lamb, pork, rabbit)
The “Best Options” labels cover multiple aspects of animal care and compliance with the standards is verified by an independent third party.
With all evidence pointing towards “humane” being a growing trend it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start looking into ways to incorporate humane options into your restaurant’s menu. Not only will it make your business appeal to a niche audience with a strong following, but it can separate you from your competitors as well.
For more information about MenuMax, call 1-877-Menu-Max or visit www.menumax.com.