Even though a majority of consumers don’t follow a strictly vegetarian diet, more and more are interested in trying meatless, plant-based and plant-forward dishes. For operators looking to expand their offerings to appeal to diners interested in plant-based eats, it can be daunting to figure out what dishes to make vegetarian—that is, which dishes will have broad enough appeal across the menu to please both those seeking plant-based meals as well as meat-eaters.
According to Technomic’s 2021 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report, 42% of consumers say they eat a vegan or vegetarian meal at least once a week—up from 34% in 2018. And that number is likely to go up, as 27% of consumers say they will try to eat more vegetarian substitutes/options during the next year and 24% say the same about vegan options. And while health is a big reason for some consumers who seek plant-based dishes, other diners gravitate toward them for environmental reasons, while some simply choose them because they think vegetarian options taste better than they used to.
One way that operators can appeal to all types of diners—regardless of their reason for ordering plant-based options—is by using plant-based ingredients in familiar favorite foods.
Familiar favorites—now plant-based
Technomic’s Seafood & Vegetarian report finds that some of the plant-based dishes diners are most likely to order are pizza, pasta/noodle dishes and Mexican-style dishes. For operators, offering plant-based pasta dishes and Mexican-style dishes is easy with Plant Protein Crumbles from Basic American Foods. Available in three flavors, there are infinite options available for operators. For instance, try zesty Chorizo, with smoky chili pepper and hints of onion, garlic and cumin, in Mexican dishes. Other flavors include Beef—perfect anywhere ground beef is used, from tacos to pasta sauce and so much more; and Southwest Seasoned, which is great for use in Tex-Mex dishes. With these flavorful ingredients, operators can create an array of delicious plant-based dishes, from tacos and pastas at lunch and dinner to brunch dishes such as chilaquiles and biscuits and gravy—and so much more.
Boost appeal with plant-based options
Technomic’s 2021 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report finds that different menu descriptions offer differing levels of appeal to consumers. That is, when choosing a vegan or vegetarian dish, consumers say they are more likely to order items described as “vegetable-based” or “plant-based” versus items described as “meatless,” “meat-free” or “imitation meat.” With that in mind, plant-based proteins are up 38% on breakfast menus, according Datassential’s MenuTrends data from 2017-2021, and plant-based bowls have also grown 55%.
By simply labeling a dish as being “plant-based” instead of “meatless,” operators can boost the appeal of vegetarian options to any diner.
Basic American Foods is proud to offer plant-based ingredients that make it easy for operators to offer more plant-based options today’s diners are looking for. To learn more about Plant Protein Crumbles and request a free sample, click here.
This post is sponsored by Basic American Foods