One of the most difficult areas in this conversation involves seafood. Also according to Datassential, the term “sustainable” has increased more than 300 percent on seafood menus in the past decades. The order-and-trust fish customer has flitted out of the dynamic in a hurry. US Foods features two levels of sustainability in its seafood program.
One is the Progress Check initiative, which is specifically designed for the seafood category. It highlights vendors on the path toward achieving sustainable certifications requested to be part of the Serve Good program. It’s the company’s way of saying that this product has made the proper investments, but just hasn’t been certified yet—a process that typically takes several years for fisheries. “We track their progress and we’re transparent about that. It can be found on our website,” Sopinka says.
Additionally, this Spring Scoop features several seafood offerings that meet leading third-party certifications, such as Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP, and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Here are two:
- Harbor Banks Coho Salmon: Four-star BAP-certified, this salmon is fed fish protein combined with nutrient dense algae, so it produces more fish protein than it uses while retaining top-quality flavor, texture and nutrition.
- Harbor Banks Yellowfin Tuna Loin: MSC-certified, sashimi grade, ready to cut and serve with minimal prep required.
“[Seafood] is an area where I think the consumer has some skepticism around source and our goal always is to be transparent and provide as much information as possible around the product,” Sopinka says. “So wherever possible we tell the story behind the product as well. We find both our sellers and our customers really enjoy that and they share it with their customers in turn.”
When it comes to transparency, Datassential shows that more than half of consumers are concerned about GMOs within their food and beverages, while the term “organic” has grown on menus by 130 percent over the past 10 years. US Foods is rising to this challenge as well with the following products:
- Monarch Non-GMO Ripened Sliced Sweet Plantains: Non-GMO Project Verified plantains imported from Ecuador that can be fried, pan-seared or baked.
- Metro Deli All Natural Prosciutto Raised Without Antibiotics: An artisanal prosciutto made with only pork and Nova Scotian coarse salt and aged for nine months according to centuries-old Italian techniques. Perfect for charcuterie boards, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas.
- Cross Valley Farms Organic Fingerling Potato Blend: This first-to-market, versatile Fingerling Potato Blend is USDA-Certified Organic and includes colorful yellow, red and purple potatoes.
US Foods also expanded this to drinks and desserts.
- Devonshire Premium Banana Chocolate Swirl Cake Made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Bananas and Fair Trade Certified Chocolate: Inspired by a Minnesota State Fair award-winning recipe, this cake is made with Fair Trade Certified semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder from Callebaut, Fair Trade Certified granulated and powdered sugar and Rainforest Alliance Certified banana purée.
- Rituals Moroccan Mint Iced Tea with Rainforest Alliance Certified Green Tea: No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Made from mint grown in Oregon, the tea is infused with spearmint, lemongrass and peppermint.
- Monogram Sustainable Cutlery Kit: A kit featuring a napkin and cutlery that are Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)-certified compostable. The napkin and band are also Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified. This is a time-saving product that is ideal for to-go orders, catering, delivery, and outdoor dining occasions.