Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark relaunches to help more caterers

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark has just been relaunched and rebranded as ‘Food for Life Served Here’. This new name and messaging is designed to help caterers promote their dedication to serving fresh, local and honest food to consumers. It will be supported in 2017 by a consumer campaign targeted around digital engagement.

In a little over seven years, the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark has grown from 0 to 1,600,000 meals served every single day across the UK. This success has been achieved through the support of caterers and policymakers. The updates to the scheme identity are designed to aid the next stage of growth and continue to help caterers make more healthy, sustainable food changes.

To grow meal take up in more public catering venues, enable more caterers to tick the sustainable and the local boxes, as well as make sure nutritious food is available in all the places that most need it, creating consumer demand for the award is essential.

Rich Watts, senior Catering Mark manager at Soil Association Certification, said, “1.6 million Catering Mark meals is no mean feat and we are in awe of those who have helped us reach this point. But to grow even more we realise that we need to improve wider public awareness of the scheme. If in future people are demanding Food for Life Served Here then its reach and positive impact will multiply.”

Over the last year the Soil Association has carried out market research to find out what people want from a scheme like the Catering Mark.

The research showed that there is a desire for fresh, local and healthy food. It also revealed a need to change the name ‘Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark’ to help improve understanding.

As a result the Catering Mark will change to Food for Life Served Here, with a new logo and supporting marketing campaign that goes live in the spring 2017. Stakeholders from across the sector were consulted as part of the research and agreed that the name and consumer focus would help better market the scheme and help communicate their sourcing, ingredients and preparation to customers.

Watts continued, “In terms of scale, and reach across so many sectors and areas of public policy, the scheme has already created an awareness of the importance of healthy, local food. But so far it has been driven by policy and industry, and to grow further we need people to be demanding, and actively searching out Food for Life Served Here venues and caterers. So it’s our responsibility as a sector to drive consumer demand for this type of food – which in turn will increase footfall through the doors.”

All current Catering Mark holders are being informed in January and updated marketing materials and logos are available for use. In April the Soil Association launches the first ever Food for Life Served Here campaign to consumers through an exciting digital campaign.