Henson understand and support the increased customer preferences for healthier and more sustainable diet choices.
This has led to a number of increases,
1. In the sales of leaner meat,
2. In the demand for protein such as chicken and
3. In the rise in popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets.
These trends place demands on the market, which the market is addressing albeit slower than desired.
The consequence of this market shift is:
- An increase in the demand for quality meat with a specific focus on provenance and animal welfare. We recognise that if customers are going to eat meat on fewer occasions then they will demand superior meat for those occasions. We at Henson are focusing on developing a supply chain of smaller artisanal producers that have higher quality products and improved animal welfare. Our message is to eat meat less often but eat good meat when you do.
- The demand for chicken has been increasing over the years, which has slowly forced a rise in the cost of chicken. We look to contract with producers and farmers to give pricing stability. This enables a more consistent supply chain that will deliver consistent quality and price.
- We source meat from the UK and across the world and have embarked on shortening the supply chain. This enables a greater level of visibility over the supply chain which decreases costs and ensures greater traceability.
- ‘Nose to tail’ consumption is critical to the better use of animals. The cost of raising cattle for consumption is huge. Consider also, the environmental cost that has not been absorbed into the financial costs (deforestation, water, land degradation), we must use the whole animal for consumption. We therefore, through menu management, encourage customers to push consumers towards less popular cuts of meat. We have an onsite development kitchen at Henson in Woolwich, where we can work with customers to help develop suitable dishes using less popular meat cuts. It is important to raise awareness of less popular cuts of meat and is akin to the use of less popular species in the fish industry.
- Organics and an increased focus on provenance will drive out suppliers that rely on chemically enhanced products from generic or unsustainable sources. We support this shift in the market.
- The reduction of waste takes on two separate focuses:
- We have adopted the ‘circular economy’ principles to make our processes more efficient. This requires us to reuse or compost waste where it arises in the supply chain. We are at the early stages of this but have a long term plan in place.
- Through increasing deliveries to customers, close menu management and demand feedback, we aim to significantly reduce customers food waste. The principle is that all short life products should be ordered the day before they are used. They should be available before service and used for that service. The days of keeping a huge fridge with days of short life product are over. We want customers to adopt a ‘just in time’ food mentality to help cut down on food waste.