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A company that serves millions of meals a day is putting meat in far fewer of them.

Compass Group is the food service company you’ve never heard of that’s quietly changing how you eat—in ways that are better for the planet and your health. The 8.5 million meals a day Compass serves in North America, in venues ranging from school cafeterias to the Oscars, are setting the tone for the rest of the food industry.

In 2009 Compass launched a “flexitarian” campaign in the U.S. to encourage eaters to opt for plant-based protein one day a week. It’s since taken that one step further by committing to reducing its purchase of red meat 30% by 2020. Last year the company, which operates under brands like Restaurant Associates and Bon Appétit, served 14.8% more produce and 4.3% more whole grains. It has also been a pioneer in reducing antibiotic usage in its meat supply and ahead of the pack on animal welfare issues. Compass, for example, was one of the first major food companies to talk about potential issues with “fast growth” chickens—ones that are intentionally bred to get bigger faster on less feed, but as a result can have major health issues.

Company Information

Impact Segment
Public Health/Nutrition
Food Services
Richard J. Cousins
Company Type
Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$27,157
Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$1,342
Market Value ($M)$31,821