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Millennials want ethical snacks—to go

Here’s how operators can grab this hidden opportunity for sales and overall positive vibes.

According to a new report, Ethics on the Go, from Culinary Vision Panel’s Mindful Dining Initiative, millennials’ expectations for snacks and grab-and-go foods are sky high. From sustainable seafood to free-range eggs to fair-trade coffee, this generation “does not want their dining choices to have unintended negative consequences,” says Sharon Olson, executive director of Chicago-based Culinary Visions Panel.

“We found that whether it’s rewarding a company’s fair-trade labor practices or their zero-waste policies, millennials are the most serious about ethically sourced grab-and-go foods,” Olson says.

While ethical grab-and-go foods may seem like a bit of niche, it’s just a fact when it comes to those great expectations of millennials. The study, which surveyed 1,500 US consumers, found that 82 percent wish establishments would use more environmentally friendly business practices. “Foodservice operators need to start considering how to introduce and communicate ethically sourced ingredients, menu concepts and business practices,” the report concludes.

Here are five data-supported ways to look at this complex issue, identified by the Culinary Visions Panel.

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