As an economic sector in search of increasing quality, out-of-home catering (or “food away from home”) is increasingly attracting suppliers of organic products. Indeed, many French people want to see organic products in schools, hospitals and retirement homes, and some of them also want them in restaurants.
School canteens, regularly subjected to scrutiny about the quality of their offering, have signed up to a process whose objective is to reach 20% organic products by 2022. Commercial catering is also moving towards more organic products: in 2018, it purchased €230 million worth of organic products (+11% vs. 2017). According to a survey of 1,040 establishments conducted by the Bio/CSA Research branch in September 2019, 43% of them use organic products*. For restaurants wishing to give visibility to their involvement in organic products, Ecocert will be delivering a talk in the Natexpo Agora on the AB Restauration label.
This year, more than one hundred exhibitors specialising in this sector are present at Natexpo. The Catering Trail allows professionals to smoothly discover the latest innovations in terms of recipes and packaging. A unique opportunity to identify new suppliers!
Commercial catering: the quality choice
Increasing its use of organic products, the catering industry works with trusted suppliers capable of delivering suitably packaged products.
As regards organic meat, whose out-of-home catering channel (all sectors combined) represents only 6% of consumption in France, there is very clear demand: sales of organic meat in out-of-home catering grew by 12% between 2018 and 2017 according to the 2018* Organic Meat Observatory. With his group of breeders and master butchers committed to organic production, Antoine Macelier supplies pork, raw or cooked, cut, sliced and graded on demand. The Charcuterie du Blavet is able to prepare sausages of any weight, from fresh VPF (French certified) meat and Guérande salt – products that are very popular with children.
As an alternative to meat, certain protein-rich vegetable products provide a wholesome, balanced dish. This is what Nutrinat offers, with its durum wheat pasta and sprouted legumes.
Supply possibilities continue to expand in this sector, as with the Corsican citrus fruits from the company of Patrick Berghman, one of the pioneers of organic products on the ‘island of beauty’.
Packaging is also important in the catering industry, which handles large volumes. For maximum convenience, Biobleud offers raw pastry cases ready to fill in frozen form. An expert in Provencal recipes, Meditea provides the catering trade with a one-kilo organic black tapenade. Local en Bocal, based in Avignon, favours local produce, with its 100% organic fruit and vegetable purées harvested less than 150 km away. Its 2 kg fruit pouches are ideal for collective or commercial catering – just like the 4 kg soft pouches at Mas de l’Amandine.
Commercial catering: suppliers committed to sustainability
A growing number of restaurants want to invest more in organic food – hence the AB Restauration label, which will give them visibility. Suppliers of raw materials such as those developing elaborate cookware are responding to the new requirements of these establishments.
As one of the leaders in the buckwheat industry in France, the Moulin de la Courbe supplies restaurants with certified organic buckwheat flour, guaranteed gluten-free and of French or EU origin. Paulic Meunerie also sells organic wheat and buckwheat flours.
For vegan enthusiasts, Avenia has developed vegetarian meal recipes inspired by world cultures, offered in ready-to-serve glass jars or in 1 to 2kg bags to be prepared on the spot. As a specialist in seaweed farming, Marinoé offers restaurants a whole range of prepared, ready-to-use products: sardine tapas, seaweed tartars, ready-to-serve salads.
Fine dining in search of original flavours can rely on innovative suppliers, such as Le Coq Noir, which develops organic sauces – such as its latest Green pesto – under the brand name Le Voyage de Mamabé. From farms in the Gers region, L’étuverie‘s black garlic, with its fragrance and slightly sweet taste, opens up new perspectives in the kitchen, as do Dihe‘s extra crunchy spirulina flakes or Guayapi‘s urucum.
The premium-positioned Tonnerre de Brest supplies restaurants and hotels with beers, teas and seaweed herbal teas. To accompany restaurant dishes with finesse, the Oé range of organic wines provides taste without pesticides. Lyspackaging has developed a 50 cl compostable and/or recyclable plant-based bottle, containing water drawn from the Atlantic Ocean, desalinated and mineralised. Brine is harnessed by other industries – a remarkable example of a circular economy that can be promoted by hotels and restaurants.
Fast food revamps its offering
The fast food industry is also able to adapt to the demands of a growing proportion of consumers by offering healthy products. With examples such as organic hamburger buns (Bien), thin and crispy organic artisanal chips (Lacori), cottage cheese cake (Baillon et Compagnie), or Nutriscore A-rated Cookies Balls (Gustoneo), organic suppliers are innovating with snacking products with more authentic and nutritionally balanced recipes.
On the beverage side, there are increasing numbers of innovations that meet every need and desire: ethical and fair trade mint lime kombucha (Jubiles), teas in the form of biodegradable teabags (La Route des Comptoirs), blueberry and elderflower iced tea (Leafwell), teas and herbal teas of all kinds (Pagès), etc.