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Eco-Friendly Feasts: A Case Study on Norse Catering's Sustainable Shift to Pea Mince.

by Ellie Grubb on 22.3.2024

In a world increasingly conscious of its environmental impact, industries are challenged to find sustainable alternatives to traditional practices. Norse Catering, a trailblazer in the school catering world, has taken a bold step toward a greener future by working with Cool Food Pro and their Carbon Calculator to identify areas to improve their sustainability and carbon footprint on their menus. They piloted the scheme by substituting a portion of beef mince with our Pea Mince in their signature dishes. This case study delves into the reasons behind this eco-friendly switch and the positive impact it has had on both the environment and the culinary experience.

The Pea Protein Revolution:

1. Environmental Impact: Norse Catering's decision to swap 10g of beef mince for our Texturised Pea Protein (Pea Mince) in 205 servings of bolognese, once in September and again in October resulted in:

  • CO2e reduction of 74kg,
  • Improvement in water quality of 12,607L
  • Biodiversity savings of 4.11m2*

Their case study aligns with a growing concern for the environmental consequences of meat production. Livestock farming is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. Pea protein, on the other hand, boasts a lower carbon footprint, requires less land and water, and produces fewer emissions. This move is a testament to Norse Catering's commitment to sustainability and reducing their ecological footprint.

2. Health Benefits: Pea protein is not only a sustainable choice but also a healthier one. It is lower in saturated fat, offers similar protein, clean label - only made from Yellow Peas and a source of fibre. Norse Catering's innovative approach not only supports the planet but also promotes healthier eating habits among school children. 

3. Taste Sensation: Some may wonder if the switch to pea protein compromises flavour and texture. On the contrary, Norse Catering has successfully incorporated Pea Mince into their dishes without sacrificing taste or mouthfeel - both incredibly important factors to children and adults alike. Through creative recipes and expert culinary techniques, they have managed to maintain the quality and satisfaction associated with their menu while offering a more sustainable option.

Customer Experience:

1. Positive Feedback: Initial feedback from consumers has been overwhelmingly positive. Diners appreciate Norse Catering's commitment to sustainability and are pleased with the delicious and satisfying meals that still capture the essence of their favourite dishes. The positive response not only reflects changing consumer preferences but also sets a benchmark for other catering services to follow suit.

2. Social Responsibility: As consumers become more ethically conscious, Norse Catering's decision to embrace pea protein contributes to its image as a socially responsible company. Customers are increasingly choosing businesses that align with their values, and Norse Catering's eco-friendly shift reflects a commitment to both culinary excellence and planetary well-being. 

3. Continued success: The success of the pilot scheme in 2 schools resulted in Pea Mince being used as a substitute for beef across the menu in local schools and care homes across the region on a permanent basis.  

Norse Catering's case study on substituting beef mince for Pea Mince is not just a culinary innovation; it's a stride toward a more sustainable future. This shift highlights the crucial role businesses play in addressing environmental concerns and meeting the evolving expectations of conscious consumers. As our children savour the flavours of Norse Catering's delicious dishes, we can also relish in the knowledge that each bite is a step toward a greener, healthier planet. It's more than just a catering choice; it's a recipe for a better world.

If your School is passionate about using sustainable, allergen-free, ambient ingredients that are healthy and help the planet too, get in touch. We'd love to send you a sample to try in your staple dishes. 


*Figures taken from Cool Food Pro article.