Whether you embrace plant-based eating or don’t fully agree with it, this plant-powered movement has gained huge momentum. In the last few years, more and more people are switching to this style of eating and the trend has risen in Canada. It is time to get up to speed with what your consumers are looking for, in order to cater to them properly.
This article will look at the plant-based movement, the flexitarian diet, and ways on how you can make your menu more plant-powered.
The Plant-Based Movement
People are moving away from animal products to this plant-based diet. There are various reasons why a person would adopt this lifestyle. These include improved health and prevention of animal cruelty and the environmental damage caused by factory farming.
Plant-powered menus are the current trends for foodservice providers and restaurants. As consumers adopt vegan and plant-based lifestyles, their demand for these products will also increase.
This trend is apparent with brands such as Beyond Meat, which touts itself as “the future of protein”. Their line offers plant-based alternatives to standard proteins such as the Beyond Burger, Beyond Sausage, and Beyond Beef Crumbles. These items replicate the flavor and texture of real meat but use ingredients such as:
- pea protein isolate
- rice protein
- mung bean protein
- potato starch
These are examples of the many natural ingredients that go into the Beyond Meat products. The plant-based movement has grown so much over the years. With products like these in the market, fast food companies have now decided to follow suit.
Companies like A&W now offer the Beyond Meat Burger, as does Tim Hortons, which provides vegan sausage and burger patty options. Fast-food giant Burger King is also embracing the plant-based movement and now offers the Impossible Whopper which is made of soy protein, potato protein, coconut, and sunflower oil. This business is clearly thriving, as shares of Beyond Meat are up more than 500 percent since they went public in May.
If you’re a food service provider, it is time to pay close attention to the plant-based movement. The Global Summit Plant Powered Menus gathering takes place from November 12 to 13, 2019 in Toronto. This summit brings together foodservice leaders and their suppliers to this new and evolving plant-powered world. The summit highlights the latest plant-inspired trends, ideas, and products, and the future of plant-powered menus in today’s rapidly changing market.
A flexitarian diet may be a new term for some consumers, yet foodservice providers need to familiarize themselves with this regimen. It is a diet that is primarily plant-based, but it also allows for occasional meat and animal products in moderation.
This is the ideal diet for someone who is looking to cut down on meat consumption, but not eliminate it entirely. This diet also works well to help lessen the environmental impact. Many people are exploring this diet by doing “meatless Mondays” and making plants a priority.
The basis of a flexitarian diet is to eat mostly vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Protein intake comes primarily from plant-based options and the focus is on organic and local.
The big appeal of the flexitarian diet is the focus on being flexible with your eating habits. This diet is not about restriction. Many find this style of eating easier to stick with and it is more practical.
Those looking to get healthier may benefit from this diet, as it can help in combating heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. It also promotes weight loss. Consumers tend to look for the cleanest sources possible when choosing meat and animal products in a flexitarian diet. Grass-fed meats, organic free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, and organic dairy from pastured animals are all top food choices.
Optimizing your menu for the plant-powered movement is necessary to compete in this growing market. Today’s consumers are choosing to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s classified as vegan or plant-based, foodservice providers need to get on board.
Your customers are seeking plant-based products and they want to see naturally sourced ingredients. They also want minimal processing and ingredients in their food. Plant-based proteins such as pea and soy are substituting traditional ingredients, and consumers are keen to have them.
Plant-based items and products are more than a fad as large companies are starting to take note of this consumer behaviour. As a foodservice provider, you should try to offer new alternatives to traditional items, and with a plant-based emphasis. The A&W Beyond Meat Burgers were so successful when launched Canada-wide that a shortage occurred just one month after. By offering new and exciting plant-based products, and even beverages, you allow yourself to stay ahead of your competition and provide consumers with exciting new choices.
As customers shift to healthier lifestyles, they crave products that can keep up with these changes. Plant-based options are seen as healthier and nearly half of all Canadians view elements such as plant proteins as beneficial to their health. Using these innovative ingredients allow your products to be viewed as a healthier and more desirable option.
Using traditional ingredients such as animal protein was once the norm. Doing this now may cause some backlash, especially if they come from non-sustainable sources. If you continue to use traditional ingredients and have them displayed on your menus, it’s beneficial to position your plant-based options right alongside their animal-based alternatives.
Consumers need to see these options and having accurate nutrition facts labels and information is crucial to building trust with them. MenuSano allows you to build brand loyalty by creating accurate nutrition facts labels.
Using MenuSano is simple, cost-effective, and it just involves entering your innovative plant-based ingredients into recipes, assembling your recipes to form dishes, and printing your new nutrition facts labels. This results in foodservice providers gaining more customers that crave meals and products that suit their plant-powered lives.
This innovative software will allow you to stay ahead of any food evangelists who are quick to influence others on inferior foods and products. These consumers support clean, local, sustainable, and environmentally friendly foods. They are advocates of simple and natural products and can certainly sway others to think the same.
By being transparent and having the most accurate nutrition information, you allow your products to shine through. This leaves nothing to chance. MenuSano allows you to stay competitive and cater to the ever-growing plant-based consumer movement.