Building on the success of its plant-based concept, Veggabols, Whitsons Culinary Group has made an aggressive plant-based commitment.
The foodservice provider wants 33% of the menu offerings at each school it serves to be plant-based by 2025, with annual increases of 10 to 15%. Currently, Whitsons menus are about 10% plant-based.
This commitment aims to help Whitsons reduce its environmental impact. And to that end, the Veggabols concept has shown results, according to a statement. Whitsons tracked the greenhouse gas emissions saved with its new plant-based items and found that, in one month, the emissions saved from 49 accounts totaled 80,820 pounds, which it says is equivalent to 90,966 miles driven.
Veggabols offers students 10 different plant-based entrees and was piloted at 12 schools last year in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
In addition to its menu goal, Whitsons will work with HSUS to develop new recipes and tweak some vegetarian dishes to be fully free of animal products.
”At Whitsons, we are excited to do our part in helping to create a more sustainable environment for all," said Mary DiStefano, director of marketing and brand management at Whitsons Culinary Group. "In addition to our existing sustainability practices, which include recycling programs, share tables, composting and more, we plan to achieve our goal of 33% plant-based offerings by 2025 by setting forth menu requirements for our teams to follow."
Beginning next school year, Whitsons will require its schools to menu one plant-based meal out of every four meals offered. For the 2024-2025 school year, one out of every three meals offered must be plant-based, according to DiStefano.
“We are consistently impressed with the impact being made by Whitsons and their enthusiastic accounts, and we’re having a lot of fun collaborating together," said Kate Watts, food service innovation manager at HSUS. "Whitsons has showcased a thoughtful and organized approach to their Veggabols initiative, which will ensure long lasting success. The changes they are making to their menus will benefit their students, the environment and the welfare of animals for years to come.”