Rosemont, Illinois, U.S.A.-based broadliner US Foods has added several sustainability-focused seafood products to its 2018 Spring Scoop line-up, it said on 26 February.
First introduced in 2017 to offer convenient, portable food options geared toward millennials, the Spring Scoop line features products that are “globally inspired,” and heavy on sustainability bona fides.
“It’s clear that seafood sustainability matters on the menu, but while it’s a hot topic for diners, raising fish sustainably continues to be a challenge,” the company said.
In response, the company said it is now featuring several seafood offerings in its Spring Scoop line that have either BAP or Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Among the 26 new products added to the 2017 line are Harbor Banks Coho Salmon and Harbor Banks Yellowfin Tuna Loin.
The coho product is four-star Best Aquaculture Practices-certified, according to US Foods.
“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,” the company said, while the tuna is “MSC-certified, sashimi grade, ready to cut and serve with minimal prep required.”
Both products are part of US Foods’ Progress Check initiative, a program designed specifically for the company’s seafood category, highlighting vendors making efforts to obtain the sustainable certifications required to be a part of the company’s Serve Good program. That program, which represents the company’s effort “to serve delicious food while serving the greater good,” requires all of its seafood items to be verified by third-party sustainability certifiers.
Since launching with 24 products in 2016, US Foods’ Serve Good program now includes more than 300 versatile products that fall into one of several categories including sustainable seafood, organic, non-GMO, or animal care, and all products in the program are delivered according to strict packaging standards that help reduce waste and prioritize the use of recycled material, the company said.
According to Datassentials’ MenuTrends, 67 percent of U.S. consumers said they would have a better impression of a restaurant that offered sustainable foods and at least 80 percent of diners say they want to know more about their food source. The term “sustainable” on seafood menus has increased more than 300 percent in the past decade, and in the past year, US Foods has seen sustainable seafood sales increase by nearly 120 percent, the company said in its release.
The Serve Good program and the Spring Scoop line both aim to serve that rising interest, according to US Foods Vice President of Product Development and Innovation Stacie Sopinka.
"Sustainable menu options are more than a trend, they're a movement that's here to stay. With Serve Good, we are committed to delivering a responsible approach to foodservice while equipping independent restaurants with high quality products diners will pay a premium for," Sopinka said. "As we continue to deliver on our ‘Great Food, Made Easy’ strategy, our Serve Good portfolio empowers foodservice operators to source a wide variety of food and non-food items that have been carefully developed to help them succeed."
The company also announced on 26 February that it will partner with BentoBox, an app designed to help independent restaurants attract new customers with more functional mobile-ready restaurant websites. US Foods customers can now receive exclusive discounts and support from BentoBox, according to the company.
With approximately 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators as clients, more than 60 locations, and approximately USD 24 billion (EUR 19.5 billion) in annual revenue, US Foods is one of the largest foodservice distributors in the U.S. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol USFD.