Regular reader of this blog know that we have been highlighting food companies that are focused on elevating next year, 2021 in food, as the year the industry focuses on From Me to We” movement in food aka sustainability. That is expanding the ‘halo’ of ‘better for you’ food and food packaging offerings within every sector of retail food.
Around the world consumers are expressing greater sense of urgency around climate change, droughts, wildfires, and increase in intense tropical storms. According to The NPD Group, consumers reported in July that 63% of their eating occasions during the COVID-19 outbreak have been atypical, meaning they’re eating and sourcing foods and beverages outside of their normal routines. That disruption has elevated consumers focus or ‘better for you’ sustainable food and beverage options according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Burger King is fully focused on the 2021, ‘from Me too We movement’, by testing a new reusable packaging model that will help cut down on packaging waste. The brand, as part of its Restaurant Brands for Good framework, has launched a partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to pilot a closed-loop system with zero-waste packaging that can be safely cleaned and refilled to be reused, again and again.
In short, the trial will offer restaurant guests the option to conveniently reduce waste when ordering their favorite Burger King brand staples like the Whopper sandwich, soft drink or coffee in reusable sandwich containers or beverage cups. It’s a start, but what to you think of this concept?
That’s right, starting in 2021, select Burger King restaurants in New York City, Portland, and Tokyo will be among the first to implement the model, with more cities expected to be added in the coming months. Participating restaurants will feature a collection system, in which guests can return the packaging to be safely cleaned through Loop and reused at Burger King restaurants. Those who opt for the reusable packaging are charged a deposit at the time of purchase, and when the packaging is returned, they receive a refund.
Battle for Share of Stomach
So, Loop’s cleaning systems have been created to sanitize food containers and cups, meaning each will be hygienically cleaned and safe before each use. Still up in the air? Well can we as consumers evolve?
Matthew Banton, Head of Innovation and Sustainability, Burger King Global stated, “As part of our Restaurant Brands for Good plan, we’re investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the food service industry forward in reducing packaging waste,” … “The Loop system gives us the confidence in a reusable solution that meets our high safety standards, while also offering convenience for our guests on the go.”
Tom Szaky, TerraCycle and Loop CEO stated “This enables Burger King consumers to easily bring reusability into their daily lives, and whether they choose to eat-in or takeaway, they will be able to get some of their favorite food and drinks in a reusable container.”
Ok, this is a pilot test that will help advance Burger King restaurants sustainability strategy, building on existing commitments to reduce its environmental footprint and protect the planet for the long-term. To support the sustainable production of packaging materials, 100 percent of guest packaging will be sourced from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. While working towards reducing the use of virgin materials and single-use packaging, the brand is also tackling the challenge of improved waste diversion, with a commitment to recycle guest packaging in 100 percent of restaurants in Canada and the US by 2025.
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