Sustainability concerns have created a sea change in how – and how often – consumers enjoy shrimp when they dine away from home. Shrimp remain the most popular seafood item across America, but consumer awareness and concerns about the environment and the ocean can make customers pause before they order. Fortunately, plant-based shrimp, with the taste, texture, and bite of ocean shrimp, enables foodservice operators to offer a sustainable, shellfish allergen and cholesterol-free alternative.
Diners demand environmentally friendly options
According to Technomic’s 2021 Center of the Plate: Seafood and Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report, the vast majority – 72% -- of consumers say they don’t want their seafood consumption to harm the environment. However, the same report shows that an almost-equal number of consumers – 73% -- continue to order seafood as often as they have in the past. In fact, consumers would like to have more seafood variety, including dishes with new and unique flavors. This leaves operators with competing imperatives -- to offer more seafood, but to make it sustainable, so that diners can feel good about ordering it.
Concerns about ocean shrimp go beyond overfishing, of course. Diners tend to worry more about the quality and safety of seafood than of other proteins, and shellfish allergies can also influence customer’s choices.
Opportunities abound with plant-based shrimp
Plant-based shrimp alternatives offer a solution everyone can love because they meet consumers’ demand for sustainable, safe, delicious shrimp options, while keeping operations streamlined behind the scenes with quick and mess-free prep. As restaurateurs respond to demand by experimenting with new menu features and LTOs – never a small task, currently further complicated by supply chain disruptions and labor challenges – shrimp alternatives provide an especially great option.
Plant-based seafood alternatives have piqued consumers’ interest, simultaneously answering the call for sustainability, variety and consistent supply and cost. About half of consumers aged 18-34 say they’d be very likely to order plant-based seafood if available, according to Technomic’s Seafood and Vegetarian report. Among plant-based seafood alternatives, shrimp interests consumers most, with 49% of consumers who are interested in plant-based seafood saying they’d order it at least occasionally.
New Wave Foods versatile plant-based shrimp allows diners to enjoy new and favorite seafood dishes, while feeling good about the choice they are making and its positive impact on the ocean, the environment and their health. It also enables those with allergen or cholesterol issues to finally enjoy shrimp again. New Wave Shrimp—available both breaded and unbreaded—come frozen and ready to play the starring role in any dish where shrimp is served hot, including popular dishes like shrimp scampi, grain bowls, spicy Cajun gumbo, craveable shrimp tacos and so much more.
To learn more, visit www.newwavefoodservice.com.
This post is sponsored by New Wave Foods