Simple changes to food placement can dramatically raise sustainable food sales


wri2001 report playbook plant rich diets pubcover

Simple changes to food placement can dramatically raise sustainable food sales

Date posted: 07 January 2020


While many people say they prefer to purchase and eat foods with lower environmental impacts, changing behavior is not easy. How we select food is a predominantly habitual process. So to help food service companies support diners in choosing more sustainable plant-rich meals, WRI’s Better Buying Lab has released a playbook outlining 23 ‘behavior change’ strategies -- strategies that draw on cutting edge academic research into how people choose food, as well as insights from experts in the food service industry about what works and what doesn’t. 

Shifting diets toward less resource-intensive foods is critical climate action. Producing beef emits 20 times more greenhouse gases than common plant-based proteins. As the world’s population grows to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 and as countries transition to more Westernized diets, demand for animal-based foods is projected to increase by 68%, with ruminant meat-demand set to rise by 88%. The Better Buying Lab brings together minds from across behavioral science, marketing and food businesses to address this challenge -- helping to identify strategies like those in the playbook that can shift diets to be healthier for people and the planet. 

The playbook is designed to be used by anyone working in the food service sector wishing to make changes within their operations to encourage diners to choose more sustainable, plant-rich options -- including chefs, food servers, managers, sales people, marketing and communications professionals, food operators, distributors, researchers, nutritionists, dieticians, and procurement teams.