The challenge

In the developed world, many of us consume more animal protein than we need, and this has many impacts on human health, emissions, water use, habitat loss and more. Rebalancing consumption of animal, plant and alternative proteins amongst consumers will significantly help to mitigate these impacts globally.

Our solution

By 2040, we aim to reduce the impacts of protein production and consumption, and improve human health by addressing our over-reliance on animal protein.

The aim of this strand of work is to: 

  • Build a powerful coalition of partners that will drive innovation and change within their own organisations, and across the food industry
  • Complete 2-3 pilot solutions that overcome barriers to rebalance consumption towards more plant-based sources
  • Create a clear implementation plan to scale these solutions up

US pilot: Acting on school lunches

In the US, there is a lack of mainstream demand for plant-based proteins, partly because consumers equate protein with animal-based sources, and also see meat, fish and poultry as more tasty and nutritious than plant-based sources of protein. These preferences are formed in childhood.

School lunches provide an opportunity to shape the future food choices of children and young adults, by introducing them early to foods that are healthy, nutritious, tasty and good for the environment. Many American children receive a large portion of their meals through school feeding programs and school cafeterias. Working initially with 10 school districts across the country, our aim is to get more plant-based protein meal options into the US school lunch program.

Our first step is to support the development of exciting new plant-based menu options that school districts can purchase. In July-August 2018, we launched an RFP for suppliers and food manufacturers to innovate new plant-based ingredients that could dramatically increase the proportion of tasty, healthy desirable options that are good for children and better for the planet. To find out more about our next steps on the RFP process, get in touch with Mary McCarthy.

Find out more

UK pilot: Future Plates - peer-to-peer engagement with chefs

Chefs, as trend-setters and leaders in the food industry, are critical to shaping a more balanced plate and diversifying our protein choices. Likewise, today’s students – and tomorrow’s chefs – will play a crucial role in transforming our attitudes towards food in a healthy and environmentally responsible way.

Since 2017, through events, industry forums and insight-sharing by leading chefs through a Medium platform, we’ve begun to engage chefs (from established leaders Raymond Blanc and Alexis Gauthier to rising stars Chantelle Nicholson and Martin Morales), foodservice companies as well as culinary students in a peer-to-peer conversation around how to inspire more plant-based cooking and eating.

Most recently, we have launched a pilot Chefs Survey in the UK to gain more insight into what influences the cooking, menus and recipes of professional chefs and cooks. The survey has helped us understand better how we can engage with chefs more effectively, and empower more of them to lead the shift towards cooking and eating more plant-based proteins. 

Future Plates, Future Chefs

In March 2018, together with partners the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the University of West London, we brought together some top chefs, student chefs, representatives of the foodservice industry, and culinary educators to discuss and identify how to inspire the next generation of chefs.

The solutions included:

  • Transforming the culinary education modules to focus less on meat by integrating plant based cooking and principles across existing modules, allowing plant-based cooking to become more inclusive, and less polarized
  • Investing in the professional development of chef educators by developing more central resources, principles and guidance

Read more about the event here.

If you’re a chef, chef educator or a representative of the food industry able to help bring more plant-based cooking into the mainstream of the global foodservice industry, we’d like to speak to you.

Get in touch

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