Thursday, November 22, 2012

Going "Green and Healthy" Impacts Purchase Decisions

Speculation has been confirmed: the foodservice executive chef and purchasing manager role in product purchase decisions is having an effect on the way farms, ranches and packers use hormones, pesticides and processing additives like "meat glue" and "pink slime" despite pressure to contain prices.

As we enter 2013, the environment’s predictability seems to be decreasing as concerns about the healthful and green quality of foods we serve to the public increases. A requisite for restaurant chain economic survival requires organizations to manage the coming food inflation, follow menu trends and yet keep menu prices affordable.

On the other hand, as the culinary and procurement staff in restaurant and hotel chains becomes more knowledable about the products they purchase; they are connecting the cause and effect relationship between product specifications and  buying "green and healthy foods." This influences suppliers who must respond to the bid requirements (specifications) or risk losing business.
5 Factors Influencing Your Ability to Buy Green & Healthy (G&H)

SUPPLIERS - competition forces a continued use of chemicals and additives, clean feed, and hormones. And, broad line food distributors resist using warehouse slots for slow-moving green, healthy, natural products, although this attitude is changing.
SUPPLY/DEMAND – foodservice chains develop new local resources for natural products; consequently, there is a low level of centralization, and greater variance in product standards. At the same time, the demand for “green” and heathly products is growing.  In the West exciting emerging chains like Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill and Costa Vita Fresh Mexican Grill continue to push the “healthy-green” food envelope. The Millennium generation can anticipate a new age in institutional G & H food purchasing without the economic and logistics challenges of today's CPO's.
GOVERNMENT - think worldwide: laws, regulations, international farming conglomerates with Agency 21 product shortages and allocations. The motto, “feed them first, then turn them green! (See my previous blog “Local Suppliers and U.S. Food Crunch

TECHNOLOGY - the chemical influences of food continue (example: enzyme-modified cheese, artificial flavors). Despite the lack of funding, research in food technology continues and many Argo-farming companies are using less “Roundup” and other nasty chemicals to kill bugs and weeds.

CONSUMERS - the average restaurant customer can’t afford to eat out at the “G & H" restaurant most of the time, and others continue to make poor food decisions. Overall, the socio-political component plus consumer attitude will force more environmentally friendly, echo-green and healthier products to market.

Food service buyers have always grappled with the challenge of buying the right product at the right price. Now that many foodservice executives have embraced the "G & H" supply chain as critical to their success, the purchasing-culinary team will be able to make better purchase decisions.

To "G & H" Foods & Higher Profits!

Fred Favole is President of Strategic Purchasing Services (SPS) is America's most experienced firm specializing in foodservice chain outsourcing, cost-reduction and green & healthy (G & H ) supply-plan programs. Contact:, P: 912-634-0030 or Connect on LinkedIn.