Sponsored by WinCup
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in off-premise dining and disposable packaging, drawing attention to sustainability. Eco-conscious consumers and restaurants now prioritize fully sustainable alternatives and items that effectively address the plastic pollution problem through biodegradability. This shift reflects a commitment to environmental responsibility and reducing the environmental impact of the foodservice industry.
According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report, sustainability in packaging ranks first among the top 10 food and menu trends. Seventy percent of millennials and 72 percent of Gen Z adults are willing to pay extra for to-go orders with upgraded sustainable packaging.
Many businesses use natural, green, and cruelty-free buzzwords to draw customers in and make them believe the company or product is eco-friendly and sustainable, but these terms often lack substantive meaning. This practice is known as greenwashing and can be very misleading.
The global waste created from packaging is alarming. “The negative impacts of all this trash on marine and human life and our environment are well-documented and disturbing. Consumers want to do better, and their awareness is higher now than ever. As we move closer to an environmental breaking point, now is the time for businesses to lead,” says Michael Winters, president and CRO of WinCup.
Sustainability not only benefits the environment but also the bottom line. Consumers want to feel good about their choices. Restaurants that provide eco-friendly options create positive customer experiences and will keep them returning.
WinCup products like Vio® cups, straws, lids, and phade® straws are both eco-friendly and user-friendly. (Cups biodegrade 92 percent over four years, lids biodegrade 86.8 percent over 7.9 years, and straws biodegrade 88.5 percent over seven years tested under conditions simulating wetter and biologically active land using the ASTM D5511 test. Wetter or biologically active land may not exist in your area. The stated rate and extent of degradation do not mean that the product will continue to decompose.)
Customers can do good and feel good without sacrificing quality. “When consumers do good, they often want to ensure others know about it. They are more likely to tell their friends, advocate for the product and restaurant, post on social media, and make more frequent purchases,” says Winters. “It can be a mechanism that drives top-line growth.”
The Vio and the phade product line offer a compelling solution for restaurants. Vio and phade products are eco-friendly, and phade straws are derived from canola oil. The look and feel are indistinguishable from traditional plastic straws. phade and the resin from which it is made have over 13 certifications. phade is marine biodegradable and home and industrial compostable. By embracing PHA alternatives, restaurants can position themselves as market leaders in sustainability.
Early adoption is key to success in the sustainability race. By taking the lead and offering eco-friendly options like phade straws, restaurants can drive profitability, increase customer loyalty, and help solve environmental issues. “While competitors scramble to find an option that checks all of the sustainability boxes without making customers grimace with each sip, WinCup presents an opportunity to seize market share,” says Winters. “If you’re ready to lead the way, WinCup is ready to help.”
By Olivia Schuster