Trending plant-based dishes to add to the menu

Photograph: Basic American Foods

While a majority of consumers do not follow a strictly plant-based diet, many Americans are increasingly interested in meatless or plant-based dishes when dining out. According to Technomic’s 2021 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report, 78% of consumers allow all meat, fish and dairy in their diets, but that’s down from 82% in 2016. While plant-based diets are still the minority, restaurants are wisely upping the number of meatless options on menus, both for diners who never eat meat as well as those who are simply curious to try a dish that doesn’t contain it.

With the number of options to consider adding, however, it can feel overwhelming to figure out what dishes to add to the menu. Looking at trends can help, though—for instance, Ignite menu data shows that plant-based dishes including build-your-own-pizzas and vegetarian sandwiches made with meat substitutes are on the rise, and consumers are also interested in global flavors.

Mexican-style dishes proliferate

Global flavors and plant-based options go hand-in-hand on menus. Technomic’s Seafood & Vegetarian Report finds that 41% of consumers are likely to order a Mexican-style dish made with alternative proteins or meat substitutes. The top plant protein dishes are classics that swap in plant proteins for meat—of popular Mexican options, Technomic’s Seafood & Vegetarian Report finds that consumers would be most likely to order burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and enchiladas that used protein substitutes. One easy way to offer plant-based Mexican options is by using Plant Protein Crumbles from Basic American Foods. Southwest Seasoned crumbles swap in effortlessly in all the above listed dishes, and best of all, don’t add extra labor to the back of house. Ready in just five minutes and offering bold flavor, Southwest Seasoned Plant Protein Crumbles are made with no artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives and are free of Big-9 allergens.

Asian options offer opportunity

Another option for operators is to offer trending Asian dishes that are plant-based. Asian-inspired options, such as stir-fry, fried rice, rice bowls, potstickers/dumplings and noodle soups can all be made with Plant Protein Crumbles from Basic American Foods. The original flavor offers the richness and meatiness of ground beef, but is mild enough to take on other flavors common in Asian dishes, such as ginger, garlic, sesame and soy sauce. With easy prep, plant-based crumbles make it a cinch to add plant-based protein to an array of dishes diners already love.

Familiarity wins

“Plant-based” options on menus have grown 2770% since 2017, according to Datassential—demand for these dishes is undeniable. By offering trending dishes, such as Asian dumplings and quesadillas made with plant-based proteins, operators can appeal to flexitarian diners as well as those who follow a meatless diet. To learn more about Plant Protein Crumbles from Basic American Foods and to request a free sample, click here.

This post is sponsored by Basic American Foods

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