Preventing food waste is the #1 action we can take to fight climate change. Reducing the environmental footprint of the food industry makes food systems more sustainable and less wasteful.
Upcycled food refers to food products that are made from surplus or by-products of the food production and supply chain. It is a sustainable approach to reducing food waste and making use of ingredients that might otherwise be discarded. Upcycled food can take many forms, from snacks and baked goods to condiments and beverages.
Key points about upcycled food include:
- Source Materials: Upcycled food is made from ingredients that would typically be considered food waste or byproducts. We prioritise working with Australian suppliers to find sustainable solutions to rescue foods that would otherwise go to a food waste destination.
- Sustainability: One of the main goals of upcycled food is to reduce food waste, which is a significant global problem. By using these ingredients to create new food products, upcycled food helps reduce the environmental impact of food production and disposal.
- Nutritional Value: Upcycled food products are designed to be nutritious and safe to consume. These products often undergo processing to turn the byproducts into marketable food items. They are tested and regulated like any other food product.
- Innovation: The upcycled food movement has sparked culinary and food innovation. Chefs, entrepreneurs, and food companies are finding creative ways to incorporate surplus and by-product ingredients into appealing and tasty food items.
- Consumer Awareness: As consumers become more environmentally conscious and interested in sustainability, upcycled food products are gaining popularity. Many people are willing to support these products as a way to combat food waste.
Examples of upcycled food products include upcycled granola bars made from spent grain, fruit snacks from surplus fruit, or vegetable-based pasta from surplus vegetables. The specific ingredients and products can vary widely depending on what is available and the creativity of food producers. Extracta have created a unique range of upcycled food products, Devine Connoisseur.
Benefits for Businesses
Eco-Friendly Branding: Businesses can position themselves as eco-conscious and responsible by incorporating upcycled food into their product lines. This not only appeals to environmentally conscious consumers but also enhances a company's reputation.
Cost Reduction: Utilising upcycled ingredients can often be more cost-effective than sourcing fresh, premium ingredients. The cost of shipping light powders is considerably cheaper than fresh whole produce.This translates into massive cost savings for businesses.
Innovation and Product Diversity: Introducing upcycled products allows businesses to diversify their product offerings and experiment with unique flavours and food combinations. This can attract a wider customer base and stimulate interest and engagement.
Resource Efficiency: Upcycling minimises the use of new resources and reduces the energy and water footprint associated with food production. Businesses can proudly highlight their role in preserving natural resources.
Regulatory Advantages: In some regions, there are incentives and regulatory advantages for companies that promote sustainability and reduce food waste. Engaging in upcycled food production can open doors to such benefits.
Consumer Appeal: As more consumers become environmentally conscious, they are actively seeking sustainable products. Businesses that incorporate upcycled food into their offerings tap into a growing market segment of conscious consumers.