Hellmann’s and Just Eat turn to seaweed to replace plastic packaging
The most striking element of the plastics crisis is the sheer enormity of it. Despite such products only having been made commercially viable a little under 70 years ago, plastics have become so commonplace in every facet of daily life that it’s difficult to fully comprehend their frequency. Case in point: how regularly, when considering the plastics present in the restaurant industry, have you considered the environmental impacts of ubiquitous ketchup and mayonnaise packets?
Master sauciers Hellmann’s and takeaway-consolidating delivery platform Just Eat are well aware of this lesser considered element of their supply chains, and have thus partnered to deliver a solution from an even lesser considered source.
65 of Just Eat’s partnered restaurants in London, UK, are currently trialling sauces packaged in seaweed. The solution, developed by sustainable packaging startup Notpla, biodegrades naturally within six weeks and is enjoying very positive feedback from customers.
According to a press release from Unilever, parent company of Hellmann’s, 92% of customers asked said they would be keen to see more seaweed-based sauce packets and, perhaps most importantly for the long-term prospects of the solution, 91% said they were in fact easier to use than regular packets.
“At Hellmann’s we’re committed to creating a more sustainable future for food – by enhancing taste and reducing waste. From reducing plastic in our packaging to encouraging love for leftovers with our ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ initiative, we continue to test and explore new ways to help people enjoy delicious meals as sustainably as possible,” said Hazel Detsiny, VP of Marketing Foods and Tea and Managing Director of Unilever Food Solutions for Unilever UK and Ireland, in the press release.
“This trial is a great example of collaboration driving game-changing innovation. In partnership with Just Eat and Notpla, we’re creating a new and exciting experience for Just Eat customers who can enjoy the same great tasting Hellmann’s – but with zero plastic waste. Squeezing sauce out of a seaweed sachet will be a first for many, but it’s one small change with potential for big impact.”
Andrew Kenny, Managing Director of Just Eat UK, added: “As market leader, we take our responsibility to affect positive change in the food delivery sector seriously. One of our key areas of focus is helping our 35,700 restaurant partners across the UK reduce plastic pollution. We are delighted to partner with Hellmann’s, a business which shares our commitment to making mealtimes more environmentally-friendly, as we embark upon the next step in bringing these sustainable sachets into the mainstream.
“Our first two trials of the seaweed-based sauce sachets with Notpla received excellent feedback and we were thrilled to be recognised with a highly commended at the Responsible Business Awards for this. It’s great to see more takeaways get on board to help us in our fight against plastic waste.”
This is not Just Eat’s first foray into seaweed-based packaging solutions. See the above video for a quick explainer for the trial of Ooho!’s own solution from October 2018.
ASCM: Supply chain pay gap closes in under 40s
The pay gap between men and women working in supply chain under the age of 40 has finally reached parity, according to the Association for Supply Chain Management’s latest annual Supply Chain Salary and Career Report.
The gender pay gap in this age group had been narrowing over the past two years, the ASCM’s previous surveys show, and in 2021 has closed entirely. Women report a median salary of $81,000 annually, while men earn a median annual salary of $79,000. Across all age brackets, men report a median salary of $82,000 and women $80,000.
Other highlights from the ASCM report
- 95% of supply chain professionals kept their job through the pandemic
- The typical starting salary for a supply chain professional is $60,000
- 48% of supply chain professionals now work from home
- 88% of survey respondents find supply chain a fulfilling career path
But there is still work to be done in closing the divide in those over the age of 40. Older men are still earning far more than their female peers, with a discrepancy of between $12,000 and $23,000 annually. ASCM’s report does not definitively conclude why this disparity remains, but says women who began their careers several decades ago may have started out on lower salaries. They may also have missed out on steady wage increases and career development after taking time away from work to have and raise families.
It is also likely that the pay gap in over 40s is affected by a lack of women in executive leadership positions. A recent Gartner study found that, while women now represent 41% of the supply chain workforce - a five year high - only 15% of executive level positions are held by women. That figure is a decline of two per cent on 2020.
Supply chain’s racial pay gap remains
For the first time, ASCM’s annual survey also looked into the pay gap between ethnicities, finding that the median salary for black professionals was 12% less than their white peers, and Latinos earned on average 14% less. That represents a divide of between $9,000 and &10,000 in real terms. Asian professionals earned a median salary of $80,000, compared with the $83,000 for white professionals.
Abe Eshkenazi, the ASCM chief executive, said reporting on and acknowledging lingering wage disparity was not enough: “Supply chain organisations must lead the way by creating environment where diverse talent is valued, included and developed. The need for supply chain professionals has never been greater, so now is the time to expand the aperture to include diversity of thought, influence and input — particularly for women and people of colour.”
Read the full report: ASCM 2021 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report