Eco-eating goes mainstream, says new report. From tofu and sustainable seafood to insect protein

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Where's the beef?  (Who needs it when you can get such an awesome veggie burger?) Picture: Garden Protein (Gardein)
Where's the beef? (Who needs it when you can get such an awesome veggie burger?) Picture: Garden Protein (Gardein)

Related tags Seafood Restaurant Food

‘Eco-eating’, which encompasses everything from edible packaging trends to sustainable seafood, is moving from natural stores and fancy restaurants to the mainstream of food culture, according to a new report.

In their Eco Eating Culinary Trend Mapping Report​, market researcher Packaged Facts and consultant CCD Innovation explain that consumers are now looking to restaurants, hotels and stores of all kinds for more eco-friendly food choices.

Eco-eating, they say, is about allowing consumers to shop “knowing that their values are reflected on the shelves and that they can trust that the meat, fish, dairy, produce and packaged products are made in accordance with a certain set of ecological and sustainable standards”.

To build trust with consumers, marketers should try to seek certification from third parties, from the Monterey Seafood Watch program to the non-GMO Project verification program, argues the report, which focuses on seven trends:

Meatless Family Meal:​  "Home cooks are turning to meatless casseroles, one-pot meals, stews, pastas and bean-based dishes to feed their families in healthful and sustainable ways."

Today’s Tofu:​ "This interest in non-animal protein has also fueled a growing trend for tofu, long a health food staple but now often seen as an authentic element of Asian cuisine as well as a flavorful base for meals of all kinds."

Edible Packaging:​  Watch out for fruit, ice cream yogurt and sandwiches wrapped in edible packaging.

Roasted cricket protein anyone?

Protein-Packed Insects:​  OK, it's a bit niche right now (although the founders of Exo​ beg to differ), but “look for creative cooks and global environmental organizations to join in the rallying cry for more buggy bites​”, says the report.

Restaurant Gardens & Hotel Beehives:​  "Fine dining chefs are joining hotel chains to plant rooftop gardens and raise honeybees to create ultra-local food supplies and inspire seasonal menus."

New​ Sustainable Seafood Choices:​  "Chefs and restaurateurs at all levels are working with seafood certification boards to obtain sustainably raised seafood and looking deeper into the sea for new types of fish."

Grass-Fed Beef​:  "A number of chain restaurants are leading the industry by securing grass-fed beef supplies for tacos, burgers and sandwiches, showing other companies that where there is a demand, a supply can rise to fulfill it."

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