08 December 2022

Sustainability the key ingredient in new muffins served at H3 venues

Next time you enjoy a freshly baked muffin at one of H3’s venues you can do so knowing you’re also helping the environment.

Montana Food & Events have today launched new muffins at Claudelands, FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park that are baked freshly on site from a special flour mix, along with other fresh ingredients.

The flour mix is made by Auckland-based company Rescued, which takes surplus bread prior to its ‘best before’ date and processes it back into ‘rescued bread flour’. This flour mix can then be used as the basis for a range of baked items.

Mark Wylie, Montana Food & Events General Manager, says there are a number of benefits from using the Rescued flour mix for its muffins.

“With muffins being one of the most popular items ordered off our menu, making this one change does make a considerable impact in terms of sustainability. Not only are we using a product made from bread that would ordinarily go to waste, but it then also negates the need for us to use a product from the original source crop,” he says.

“We also believe these new muffins are superior in terms of quality – so not only does it feel good to know we are doing something positive for the environment, but it also tastes better too.”

Food waste is a major factor in greenhouse gas emissions – the waste gets taken to landfill, where it decomposes and releases methane, which accelerates climate change. According to the Kantar New Zealand Food Waste Survey (April 2022), over 100,000 tonnes of food is wasted in New Zealand each year, carrying a total cost of $3.1 billion or $1520 per household. The worst culprit among the binned food is bread, with more than 15,000 tonnes wasted last year.

Melissa Williams, H3’s Business Development Manager – Business Events, says utilisation of rescued ingredients aligns with H3 and Montana Food & Events’ shared commitment to sustainability and minimising the environmental impact from events.

“Sustainability is incredibly important to us and we are constantly looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and ensure we are being responsible global citizens,” says Williams.

“It is great to know that by introducing these new muffins across our venues we are helping to reduce food waste by giving surplus bread a new lease on life. At the same time, I hope they will also act as a great conversation-starter for our clients and guests to spark sustainability discussions and more importantly prompt others to take action.”

For Wylie, he is hopeful that this will be just the start of Montana Food & Events’ journey with rescued ingredients.

“We don’t know of any other large-scale catering companies in New Zealand who have introduced menu items that utilise rescued ingredients, so it’s exciting to think we could be industry leaders in this space. There is so much potential to take this further and introduce more menu items using rescued ingredients in future…so keep an eye out for that.”

Royce Bold, Rescued’s Head of Operations, says he is thrilled to see Montana Food & Events and H3 embracing rescued ingredients.

“Partnerships are at the heart of the Rescued business plan and we’re very proud to partner with Montana Food & Events and in turn H3 group. When large organisations like this are on board, we can truly give surplus food a purpose and make a difference.”

Other sustainable initiatives recently introduced across H3 venues includes the introduction of compostable food packaging, improved waste separation and a switch to Green Seal certified cleaning products, with EV chargers due to be installed at Claudelands in the coming weeks.