If you have ever eaten a meal at a university or hospital cafeteria or at the cafeteria in your workplace, there’s a good chance the food was supplied by Sodexo, one of the nation’s leading food service companies. And soon, thanks to a new partnership between the company and the Humane Society of the United States, thousands of cafeterias supplied by Sodexo will be able to offer their clients more plant-based options like Chesapeake cakes, smoky black bean tamales and carrot osso buco.
We announced the partnership today at an event with Sodexo dubbed “Plant-A-Palooza,” along with Unilever, World Resource Institute’s Better Buying Lab, and World Wildlife Fund. For months the HSUS’s team of talented chefs, all veterans of the food service industry, worked side by side with Sodexo’s culinary team to write, develop, test and perfect more than 200 plant-based recipes that will end up on Sodexo menus at hundreds of universities, hospitals, and corporate cafeterias across the country. Any institution Sodexo operates can integrate these recipes, or use them to build stand-alone, plant-based, “concept” restaurants in their dining halls.
As one of many examples, we created Y Mas, a branded Mexican-themed concept, featuring dishes like jackfruit and avocado tortas, chipotle quinoa burrito bowls, and garlic roasted cauliflower burritos.
Our culinary experts will also work with Sodexo to host trainings for its chefs nationwide to empower and inspire them on plant-based cuisine. We’ve worked with key Sodexo accounts like Northwestern University, Ithaca College and Northern Arizona University for many years and this partnership announcement formalizes our working relationship and drives forward our vision for accomplishing even more together for the welfare of farm animals.
The partnership with Sodexo is the latest one in our campaign for reducing consumption of meat, eggs and dairy, in which we partner with some of the largest institutions that serve food—schools, hospitals, universities, the military and more—to help them add more plant-based options to menus and reduce their overall meat purchases.
In the United States, we’ve already partnered with other large food service companies, like Compass Group and Aramark, to train their chefs on plant-based culinary techniques, helped dozens of universities add more plant-based options to their menus and reduce meat purchases, teamed up with hundreds of school districts to start programs like Meatless Monday, and even trained military institutions and correctional systems on plant-based cuisine.
In order to make an even bigger impact, our global affiliate, Humane Society International, works in countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Vietnam and South Africa, providing institutions with technical assistance via recipes, sample menu ideas, nutritional advice, and hands-on culinary training for institutions, all free of charge.
We are especially proud to expand this program with Sodexo. For more than a dozen years we have worked closely with Sodexo to improve the welfare of mother pigs, egg-laying hens and broiler chickens in its supply chain, and with this latest step, the company has once again shown its commitment and demonstrated yet again how a thriving business can align with policies that benefit animals.
Fortune magazine recently proclaimed “plants are hot,” as a growing number of Americans, concerned about their health and animal welfare, look to add meatless options to their diets. By recognizing this shift in the market, businesses like Sodexo, Compass and Aramark are making a smart business move in the competitive landscape of plant-based cuisine and setting an important example for other players in the food industry.