New partnership enables foodservice operators to easily guide diners toward climate-friendly food choices. Nestlé Professional Cool Food Meals will incorporate plant-based proteins from Sweet Earth Foods, which will be carbon neutral by 2025.
This week, Nestlé Professional USA announced a partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to bring more climate-friendly meals to consumers in foodservice settings. A WRI initiative, Cool Food Meals menu certification provides consumers a quick and easy way to spot low-carbon dishes when shopping or dining out, helping facilitate a shift toward more plant-forward diets that are better for the climate. The Nestlé Professional Cool Food Meals — available at dining locations such as retail food courts; convenience stores; and corporate, hospital and university dining halls — will incorporate plant-based proteins from Sweet Earth Foods, a Nestlé Professional brand.
"With an ambitious goal to be everywhere — from colleges and universities to restaurants — this partnership will enable more consumers to easily make climate-friendly food choices when eating outside the home," said Perry Miele, president of Nestlé Professional USA. "We're thrilled to partner with WRI to become Cool Food Meals Ambassadors and leverage our scale to help Nestlé Professional customers showcase more sustainable menu choices to diners."
According to recent research, 67 percent of US consumers are concerned about the impact of food production on climate change; they have an opportunity to cut the climate impact of their diet by nearly half just by eating less meat. Cool Food is an initiative of WRI that helps people and organizations reduce the climate impact of their food through shifting toward more plant-rich diets. Through Cool Food Meals and the Cool Food Pledge, the initiative is focused on making climate action delicious, so conscientious eaters around the world can help tackle the quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions that come from food production. The initiative was launched in October 2020, with Panera as the first restaurant chain with menu items to receive the Cool Food Meals certification.
WRI calculates a meal's carbon footprint by analyzing what it takes to produce the final product. If the carbon footprint falls below the established per-meal threshold and meets nutritional safeguards, it's certified as a Cool Food Meal; and the official badge will appear next to the Sweet Earth logo on menus. To create the per meal carbon footprint threshold, WRI has established a max recommended daily carbon footprint for a person's diet that delivers at least a 25 percent emissions reduction from current regional diets (US = 18kg CO2e). Since Cool Food’s launch, Just Salad’s carbon-labeled menu items and Chipotle’s Foodprint app have also emerged to cultivate and meet growing consumer demand to understand the impact of their food choices.
Acquired by Nestlé in 2017, Sweet Earth has won over flavor-seekers and health-conscious consumers alike by proving that plant-based food doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavor. The brand is also at the vanguard of Nestlé's commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 — Sweet Earth will achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Now, Nestlé Professional customers will have access to scores of pre-certified recipes featuring climate-friendly, plant-based ingredients from Sweet Earth — including the Awesome Burger, Awesome Grounds and Mindful Chik'n. Foodservice customers will also be able to design their own plant-based recipes for certification using those Sweet Earth ingredients.
"By simply changing what we eat, we have a significant opportunity to mitigate the impacts of climate change," said Edwina Hughes, head of Cool Food at WRI. "This partnership dramatically scales the availability of Cool Food Meals, making it possible for consumers to choose a climate-friendly meal at a wide variety of dining destinations."
Foodservice organizations interested in learning more about the Nestlé Professional/Cool Food Meals partnership or featuring Cool Food Meals-certified items on their menus can reach out to a Nestlé Professional representative.