Consumer sentiment towards sustainability reveals an increasing demand for food products that are created with ingredients that have minimal environmental impact. In fact, 72% of Americans describe the need for a more sustainable way of eating as urgent and most also had a positive perception of sustainable food (66%). The survey conducted by Sodexo’s International Sustainable Food Barometer shows that the majority of Americans want to make sustainable food choices and are willing to pay more for them. Impressively, two-thirds of respondents say they are willing to pay more to eat more sustainably.
Sustainable food production aims to maintain high environmental and social standards, with the goal to mitigate the negative impacts caused by industrialization. These methods work to maintain and regenerate agroecosystems, avoiding toxins that damage human and environmental health, and respect planetary boundaries.
USA Sunflower Oil is a sustainable option for food innovations, with approximately 1.3 million acres of oil type sunflowers planted each year. Sunflower crops have deep tap roots that help break up the layers of the soil and help make sunflowers drought resistant, making them require less water than many other crops. The no-till process used to grow sunflowers decreases soil erosion and helps keep moisture in the soil. No-till management of sunflower crops also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as sunflowers capture carbon dioxide from the air, leading to significant greenhouse gas emission savings. Sunflower production ranks high on an energy efficiency scale for soil conservation, low energy and fuel usage, leading as a top choice for sustainable food innovations.
Consumers seek non-GMO products, lower saturated fat foods, and foods that align with dietary restrictions whether that is Vegan, Kosher or Halal. Sunflower oil is derived from sunflower seeds that are grown using traditional breeding techniques, making it one of the few non-GMO oils used in food manufacturing. Sunflower oil is also Kosher and Halal which is beneficial for the creation of many specialty foods. It has a very neutral taste allowing the true flavors of the ingredients in products to come through. This makes sunflower oil ideal for a wide variety of applications including healthy snacks, non-dairy beverages, sauces and spreads and even bakery products such as cookies, crackers, and artisanal breads.
With consumers looking for transparency in the ingredients used in their food products and actively seeking sustainable products, it is the right time to switch to sunflower oil. To learn more about sunflower oil’s journey from field to customer and the sustainable practices download the sustainability factsheet.