Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Burger King joins the from Me to We Movement 2021


Environmental sustainability has been a global topic, then action points, and now a food focused friction point.  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® was the first to identify and name 2021 the Me to We year in foodservice.

Burger King has now joined the ilk of McDonalds, Starbucks, and many more in understand the importance of edifying consumer relevant touchpoints, driving new electricity into the brand. The Me to We movement was identified as the restaurant sectors 2021 call to arms the “from me to we” is where restaurants will focus on sustainability driving the message that we are here and we are getting better for you.” According to Johnson, brands that are getting ‘better for you’ are bettering themselves as well.

Burger King has now committed to being part of a more sustainable future by reducing our environmental footprint. Burger King may be a bit late to the movement.  However, by launching a green packaging pilot program focused on finding scalable solutions for eight of our most-used, guest-facing items including forks, spoons, knives, straws, drink lids, Frypods, Whopper wrappers and napkins they are off to a good start.

First, the green packaging will be tested in 51 of the brand’s company-owned restaurants in Miami and utilizes alternative materials, such as Frypods made with renewable unbleached virgin paperboard, cutlery made with cPLA, a plant-based plastic, and napkins made with 100 percent recycled fiber.

That’s not all, Burger King will also be testing paper and plant-based straws along with strawless lids, which could potentially eliminate up to 500 million single-use plastic straws annually from participating U.S. Burger King restaurants.

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Get this, these actions alone would translate to the removal of 910 metric tons of greenhouse gasses per year, the equivalent of 196 vehicles driven for one year. The chain is also testing two new options for Whopper sandwich wraps, which represent a 13 percent and 34 percent reduction in paper compared to previous wraps, respectively. This could translate to an additional 500 to 1,500 metric tons of paper waste eliminated annually across the U.S.

Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability, Burger King, stated, “Sustainable packaging is a cornerstone of our Restaurant Brands for Good journey, and this new pilot represents a huge opportunity for us to make a difference,” … “We’re optimistic about our progress and are committed to reducing waste to do our part in creating a more sustainable future.”

By piloting solutions in restaurants, Burger King said it can get direct feedback from guests on how the packages perform, make iterative changes with its supplier, and build an implementation roadmap for the system. Upon completion of the pilot test, the company will take the learnings and guest feedback to inform its plans for nationwide sustainable packaging in the next year. This pilot gives Burger King the opportunity to gain knowledge and provide learnings for the industry while getting us one step closer toward its goal of advancing packaging sustainability by improving materials and reducing overall packaging used, including single-use plastics.

The green packaging pilot is another action Burger King is taking to align with its principle of doing what’s right. In that spirit, the company is continuing to develop its global partnership with Loop to reduce single-use packaging through reusables and are looking to include two new cities, Paris and London, in addition to the earlier announced target cities of New York, Portland, and Tokyo. Burger King’s reusable pilot will offer more guests the option to join it in its efforts to reduce waste when ordering their Burger King favorites like the Whopper sandwich, soft drink or coffee.

Understanding that sustainability requires partnership throughout the supply chain, Burger King is partnering with The Coca-Cola Company and Kraft Heinz to bring these initiatives to life, while edifying the brand with new electricity. Leveraging combined size and resources, the company said it will work together to provide insights, packaging expertise and resources on these pilots, helping to maximize future national potential.

How is your brand building new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new menu related products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, music, developing brands, unique urban hemp clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  How is your brand building new electricity?

Barry Danckert, vice president, Global RBI Customer Team, The Coca-Cola Company, stated, “We continue to innovate and rethink how consumers enjoy Coca-Cola beverages. We are excited to partner with Burger King to offer a reusable packaging alternative for their guests,” …“This effort supports The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste initiative and virgin plastic reduction goal.”

Peter Hall, president, U.S. Away From Home, Kraft Heinz, stated, “Burger King has been leading the charge in foodservice sustainability and Kraft Heinz is excited to partner with them and Loop to offer reusable packaging around the world. Global companies and global brands have the power to help shape the world for good and Kraft Heinz is committed to a better future with responsible recycling and reusable initiatives,”.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit GrocerantGuru.com, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869.

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