Clean label takeaways

How foodservice operators are keeping up with the demand for transparency.


But it’s not just millennials who are concerned about the source of food or its quality. The rising tide of public interest in clean food is not expected to subside anytime soon, industry observers and foodservice directors say.

Here are some clean takeaways.

Be in the know 

Know what is considered clean; which ingredients and additives customers are asking about; and why a word may concern them, from gluten to GMO. “We need to stay on forefront of what science is telling us and be careful how we label something,” says Kyleen Harris, director of food and nutrition services for Abilene Public Schools in Abilene, Texas.

Embrace transparency

Provide ingredient information on menus and websites. Include local sources such as farmers or ranchers. Be open to letting customers tour the kitchen and talking to them about the products. “It’s important to tell our students to come see us. We can walk them through the process and answer questions they may have about the menu,” says chef Johnny Curet, dining services director at Rice University. 

Get the scoop

Talk to suppliers about product ingredients and sources. Suppliers may also know of local farmers and other sources for products. “One of our major vendors, Sysco, introduced us to [a farm that] raises hogs that are antibiotic- and steroid-free,” says Glenn Hixson, TouchPoint foodservice director at St. Vincent’s Health Care in Jacksonville, Fla.

Process, not processed

To provide clean-label foods, make sauces, broth, condiments, dressings and soups rather than purchasing them. For example, buying a whole chicken rather than a package of chicken breasts provides bones for creating your own chicken stock. "The decrease in product cost offsets the labor cost by far. It is not much more money than that for the whole product," says Executive Chef Jonathan Smith of TouchPoint.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The School Nutrition Foundation has named its five School Nutrition Heroes for 2018.

The honorees were nominated by their peers and then selected by the SNF for helping end hunger for homeless and low-income students and their families.

Those chosen are:

Paula Angelucci, child nutrition director, Colonial School District; New Castle, Del. Anthony Terrell, culinary specialist, Shelby County Schools; Memphis, Tenn. April Laskey, director of school nutrition, Billerica Public Schools; Billerica, Mass. Lynne Shore, food service director, Willamina School District;...
Sponsored Content
spring desserts

From Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

Consumers and operators alike often associate seasonal desserts with pumpkin pie, gingerbread and candy canes—after all, winter is a season closely associated with indulgence.

But after the winter holidays, when people are hitting the gym and holding themselves to New Year’s Resolution diets, desserts don’t get as much attention. For operators, this can mean a lag in sales of sweets—but it’s not a lost cause. Updating springtime dessert menus to reflect the change in what diners are looking for can generate excitement and boost...

Industry News & Opinion

Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Read the full story via...

Industry News & Opinion

Denver Public Schools has begun posting cooking videos on its Facebook page in an effort to promote the scratch-made meals served in its cafeterias, Denverite reports.

The video tutorials are set up in a similar way to Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos, showing a pair of hands from above as they prepare a meal to background music. The Colorado district promotes the videos with the hashtag #DPSDelicious.

Read the full story via .

FSD Resources