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American foodservice company Aramark has committed to introduce healthier menu options, sustainability and innovative programmes to Gen Z students.

As part of its plans to introduce new menu options, the company will launch four plant-forward dishes such as sweet potato smash, spanakopita quesadilla, roasted butternut tartine and all American Beyond Burger this autumn.

Sweet potato smash features sweet potato, goat’s cheese, cranberry sauce and arugula on wholegrain ciabatta.

Spanakopita quesadilla is made using a crispy tortilla filled with spinach and feta cheese spread and is served with Tzatziki sauce.

Roasted butternut tartine is a sandwich made using roasted butternut squash, arugula, ricotta cheese and Dijon maple.

“Students’ demand for quality, health, convenience and personalisation drives every stage of our menu innovation process.”

All American Beyond Burger is a plant-based patty and will be debuted as a limited time menu option at Burger Studio & Grille Works locations.

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By GlobalData

Aramark has also partnered with American Heart Association (AHA) as part of its ‘Healthy for Life 20 By 20’ programme to introduce more fruits and vegetables into menus.

Aramark’s Higher Education business president Jeff Gilliam said: “Students’ demand for quality, health, convenience and personalisation drives every stage of our menu innovation process.

“Our team layers consumer insights and proprietary data with trends from industry experts and market research partners to identify, create and introduce innovation to each menu we develop for college campuses.”

The foodservice company is also in the process of reducing single-use disposable plastics across its global foodservice operations by 2022.

It will begin reducing plastic straws and stirrers completely on its Higher Education campuses from September 2018. However, it will offer smaller quantities of plastic straws upon request to retail customers in some locations.

Furthermore, the company has partnered with FarmLogix to introduce a software platform to assist it to source and report on sustainable ingredients and purchases.

The company will track sustainable attributes such as Seafood Watch Best Choice or Good Alternative, Fair Trade USA certified and USDA Organic, among others.