SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

3 Signs the Fast Food Industry Should Invest in Sustainable Sourcing

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Jul 1, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The definition of "good" food has historically revolved around a single consideration: taste. As long as your food had the right flavors in the right proportions, facets of the fast food dining experience like the ambience or menu pricing were somewhat flexible. But the internet has been changing the face of the fast food industry for years now, most notably in marketing, so the fact that it's shaking the very bedrock of what "good" food means should come as no surprise.

While digital outreach and engagement has undoubtedly helped with cementing QSR brand identity and marketing, it's also given procurement professionals unprecedented insights into the wants and habits of their consumers. The signs are loud and clear: sustainability reigns supreme.

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Topics: Food Service, Trends, Sustainability, QSR

It Pays to Be a Pioneer: Sustainability in the Fast Food Industry

Posted by Steve Shutte

Jun 27, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The growing significance of sustainability and quality fast food sourcing were the key takeaways at the recent NRA show in Chicago as consumers continue to seek out better food options for themselves and their families, even in a fast food setting. What caused sustainability to be such a great concern to the mainstream buying public, and how can a business benefit from opting for transparent, sustainable food sourcing and packaging methods? A look at the history of the business of food and the shift of consumer perception over time reveals some surprising insights.

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Topics: Food Service, Trends, Sustainability, QSR

How Consumers Are Driving the Future of Fast Food Sourcing

Posted by Craig Fissel

Jun 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The plate — or box and bag, for to-go customers — used to be the final say in consumer satisfaction. Consumers bought a fast food meal because the taste and quality of the food made the grade — or didn't patronize a chain because their food didn’t make the cut. While that's still true, the scope of discerning customers has pulled back to widen the frame, centering on the journey to that box, bag or plate as well.

Fast food sourcing is in a unique position of having to "untrain" itself out of decades of price-centered pursuit and start paying attention to the story of their supply chain as well. Make no mistake, pricing is still important — customers still demand great value for their QSR dollar, after all — but simply moving ingredients from origin to destination won't cut it in terms of competition. Customers are, by virtue of their wallet-votes, beginning to demand more from their chain experiences, and that means that smart QSR brands are paying attention and planning accordingly.

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Topics: Food Service, Trends, Sustainability, QSR

Does Your Fast Food Supply Chain Hit Consumers’ Sustainability Goals?

Posted by Jeff Cowles

Jun 20, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The speed with which the food sustainability movement captured the attention of consumers surely took many in the fast food industry by surprise and left not a few supply chain managers scrambling.

As Tove Danovich aptly wrote in Eater, “Not too long ago, people who identified as ‘vegetarian’ in the United States were often met with cockeyed stares and questions like, ‘but you can eat chicken, right?’ Animal welfare was a term applied to dogs and cats — not farm animals.”

Formerly niche food categories — all organic, cruelty-free, sustainably raised, non-GMO, gluten-free — quickly rose to the forefront of American consumer consciousness. Some of that may be attributable to Millennials’ coming of age, but is all of it?

Most likely not.

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

This Is How the Fast Food Industry Will Be Graded on Sustainability

Posted by Chris Dixon

Jun 17, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Local-sourcing. Organic. Free-from. Sustainable sourcing comes with a lot of buzzwords. And when it takes a significant investment of time and capital for a fast food brand to shift suppliers or alter sourcing practices, it’s critical that a brand knows a particular trend has staying power before launching any sustainability initiatives.

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, QSR

Why You Need to Influence Sustainable Development in Your Fast Food Supply Chain

Posted by Jim Coughlin

Jun 13, 2016 12:00:00 PM

When the media first began covering sustainability with regularity, the fast food industry was one of many that was slow to react. Perhaps corporate executives thought that consumer interest in the idea was a passing fad, and that it would soon be forgotten. Sustainability has, of course, worked its way both into the mainstream consciousness and into the mission statements of many corporations as it becomes increasingly obvious that it is a concept that is not going anywhere. Indeed, it looks to become even more important in the decision making process of consumers as time goes on.

With all of this in mind, it would be wise for the fast food industry to try to keep up with the trend and provide the sustainability that consumers seek. To do this, fast food supply chain managers need to check their fast food supply chain sources to make sure they provide the sustainable solutions they need.

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

Can Fast Food Suppliers Keep Up With Industry Sustainability Efforts?

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Jun 10, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In the last decade, food trends and consumer spending habits have gone hand-in-hand. Movements like low-carb, paleo and clean eating influenced not only the menus of existing QSR chains, but inspired the creation of new, niche QSR brands as well. The latest shift in consumer demand has proven a little more challenging for the fast food supply chain, however, forcing procurement teams to go beyond finding an exotic new ingredient or recipe and subverting the very concept of the supply chain as it stood.

While price remains, necessarily, a large deciding factor, it is no longer the sole motivator behind provider selection. That honor increasingly rests with sourcing. Can the demands of a supply chain in the fast food industry outpace the looming sustainability issues from largely untested specialty suppliers?

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

The Impact of Farm-to-Table Eating on the Fast Food Supply Chain

Posted by Lance Layman

Jun 6, 2016 12:00:00 PM

We hear a lot about farm-to-table eating. But what has been its impact on the fast food industry?

Adapting to the farm-to-table trend can be a tricky challenge for QSR chains. While value is still driving many fast food decisions for Americans, brands must make an effort to begin offering options that cater to diners’ more ethically driven and health-conscious decisions.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the challenges fast food chains face and at some of the practical ways that QSR supply chain managers and chefs are meeting them.

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

Sustainable Sourcing Isn't "Set and Forget" for Fast Food

Posted by Dan Barton

May 30, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Cost per unit, consumer satisfaction, shelf life of ingredients: for a busy QSR chain, the idea of supply chain sustainability can easily be eclipsed by more immediate concerns. The desire to cross a nagging line off the to-do list can make the idea of a one-and-done solution understandably attractive. In all other aspects of the business, a firm price tag or goal drives the method, not the other way around. Sustainability isn't "checked off" quite so easily, however. It's much more of a moving target than a finished line to be crossed. 

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

3 Ways the Fast Food Industry Can Go Sustainable in Meat and Poultry Sourcing

Posted by Alan Riney

May 27, 2016 3:00:00 PM

We’ve heard a lot about fast food chains sourcing cage-free eggs, organic ingredients, non-GMO foods and sustainably raised meat. But another growing trend in the industry has been a move toward serving only antibiotic-free meat.

Late last year, for example, the deli sub chain Subway announced that it would begin transitioning to serve antibiotic-free poultry by the end of 2016, with a complete switch to antibiotic-free beef and pork by 2025. In doing so, Subway joined Chipotle, Chik-Fil-A and even McDonald’s (which has promised to source antibiotic-free poultry) in making a commitment to make such a switch.

Why the trend? Much of it has to do with consumers’ demands.

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Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Proteins, Supply Chain, QSR