Sustainability in the Food and Beverage Industry

Products for a new era of awareness

The global alarm bell has rung—and the food and beverage industry has woken up to the fact that sustainability is a challenge we all have to tackle.

Products and processes are being re-examined and re-engineered to suit a new world—one where we do what’s right for the planet and for future generations.

But it’s a real challenge. How do you effectively reduce food waste in your production as well as the entire value chain (including retail and households)? How do you help your customers be more sustainable in what they consume and how they consume it?

To us, increasing sustainability starts with four things:

  • Using raw materials from sustainable sources to make ingredients.
  • Helping customers replace meat and dairy with lower-impact, plant-based products.
  • Reducing food waste by making tasty food that lasts—and retains its appeal—for longer.
  • Increasing the nutritional and health profile of products.

Rising to the sustainability challenges of a changing world means getting smart about every ingredient in our foods and beverages. We can help you do it.

The Key Challenges for Sustainability

Significantly Reducing Food Waste

Food waste is an enormous challenge. And a huge amount of waste and needless spending is caused by food that’s spoiled, unappetizing or doesn’t meet quality standards. According to the UK-based WRAP, the chief reason people throw out food is because it looked or smelled off.

Careful consideration of ingredients and how they interact with each other is an important contributor to driving down food waste. But the answers aren’t always obvious.

Encouraging Dietary Changes

Transforming the global food system—how we grow, produce, make, consume and dispose of food—by 2050 will require significant shifts in dietary patterns.

This comes from the EAT-Lancet Forum, a global nonprofit supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In a report published in The Lancet, the group set out an urgent call to action to ensure we can provide a growing world population with healthy diets, from sustainable food systems.

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Replacing Meat with Plants

Plant-based alternatives to meat can make an enormous contribution to sustainability. But, as an industry, we need to develop and produce plant-based foods that are healthy and that consumers love.

Asking consumers to sacrifice enjoyment for sustainability won’t work. They want both—and the companies that provide it will create the major food and drink brands of tomorrow.

What’s Next for Sustainable Food and Beverages?

Products that stay High Quality for Longer

Using natural solutions—like protective cultures, natural extracts, and enzymes—can increase the shelf-life of a wide range of food products, including bread, dairy and meat products. It can also improve the taste, scent, look and texture of food. These solutions help you reduce food waste by making it more appealing, high-quality and tasty for longer.

Added Health Benefits

More sustainable, bio-based ingredients let you discover new ways to reduce levels of sugar, salt, calories and saturated fats—all while increasing probiotics, prebiotics, fibers, plant proteins, and low-calorie sweeteners. 

Keeping Supply Chains Sustainable

It’s easier to see the impact of your entire value chain when you work with suppliers and partners that document and share details of their products’ footprints. Then you can measure performance against your sustainability goals, science-based targets, or green initiatives.

Proactive Sourcing Strategies

Reduce your risk by using ingredient solutions that meet the highest environmental and social standards, all the way up to the raw materials used. At Nutrition & Biosciences, we do this using a sustainable sourcing strategy, with commitments related to RSPO, RTRS and SEDEX—as well as initiatives related to no-deforestation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

How can Nutrition & Biosciences help you win in this space?

At Nutrition & Biosciences, we’re uniquely positioned to help you put sustainability and health first in your food and beverage products. We’ve produced the largest sustainable ingredient portfolio in the industry to help you meet your challenges.

No matter where in the world you operate, we offer tailor-made solutions for different reference diets and socio-economic contexts including dairy solutions for low income countries, with a focus on affordable health.

To learn more about our survey findings, ingredient solutions and application opportunities, contact us here.

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