According to a new Populus survey on behalf of WWF-UK, half of millennials (18-34 year olds) (51%) are more likely to eat at restaurants, cafés or canteens where they are told about how their food arrived on their plate.

The research shows that 53% of the age group are more likely to eat at venues where meat has been reared to high animal welfare standards and 20% would be more likely to visit restaurants that offer an entirely meat-free menu once a week.

Our findings have been published in conjunction with a new report, Catering for Sustainability, written by the Food Ethics Council and commissioned by WWF-UK and Sodexo UK & Ireland. As well as promoting the benefits of more sustainable diets, it aims to demonstrate the potential for businesses to achieve revenue growth, profitability and supply chain resilience by focusing on sustainable meal choices.

The report also recommends that food service companies introduce sustainable menus, avoid the use of unsustainably sourced ingredients and share examples of best practice throughout the industry.

Nick Hughes, Food Sustainability Advisor at WWF-UK says:

“There’s a clear trend towards sustainable consumption in the UK – and this is great news for our health and the environment. Smart businesses will be taking steps to capitalise on the demand for ethical sustainable sourcing, meat-free options and more information about health and nutrition.”

According to our survey, millennials are largely responsible for this trend. 19% of the group say they intend to eat less meat over the coming year, while 66% reported that they wanted to be able to choose plant-based options from menus.

35% are also more likely to dine in restaurants that only serve MSC certified fish and 51% are more likely to choose venues that favour locally sourced produce.

Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council, Dan Crossley adds:

“Most people in the UK eat out at work canteens, fast food outlets or high-end restaurants. The choices offered there have huge impacts not just on our own health, but on the health of the planet. Our research shows that foodservice companies stepping up to the plate and offering ‘better’ sets of choices to customers are likely to be more profitable in the long run”