Food Trends | Vegetables

Plant-forward Takes Center Plate

Jul 12, 2018

Plant-forward Takes Center Plate

Are you offering enough meat-free alternatives for your patrons?

For most Americans, the idea of choosing to eat plant-forward proteins vs. animal-based proteins isn't an all or nothing proposition. But with the long-term trend toward health and wellness, more of your patrons are considering reducing their consumption of protein from animals, red meat in particular:

  • 45% of consumers believe consuming animal protein is a health concern
  • 26% of consumers said they ate less animal-based protein the last 12 months
  • 60% of millennials consume plant-forward analog meals
  • 34% of consumers eat a vegan meal at least once a week (Datassential SNAP! Keynote, 2018)

And positive experiences with plant-forward proteins in the center of the plate are increasing the dining public's openness to alternatives:

  • 48% of those who consume plant-forward alternatives say they can be just as satisfying as animal-based foods (Datassential SNAP! Keynote, 2018)
  • Veggie sandwiches/entrees have been the strongest growing sandwich/entree protein option over the last five years.

The simultaneous rise of plant-forward superfoods

This shift toward plant-forward proteins coincides with the media-fueled adoption of so called "superfoods," which offer grain, and plant-forward protein along with an impressive array of other essential nutrients.

Superfoods menu penetration (4-year growth):1

• Quinoa +190%
• Brussel sprouts +154%
• Avocado +17%

According to Datassential, 50% of consumers are interested in trying superfoods of grain and plant protein. The incidence of grain bowls has exploded by more than 200% over the last four years alone.

Helpful plant-forward Simplot products

Oftentimes, the ingredients necessary for offering plant-forward options can suffer from seasonal availability and inconsistent quality. Simplot offers a wide portfolio of products that make offering these protein alternatives faster, more profitable and less wasteful.

Simplot Good Grains™ Ancient Grains: From brown rice to quinoa, take your pick from several grains and grain blends, perfectly cooked then frozen to lock in flavor. No guesswork, just heat and serve. Ideal for grain bowls, soups, entree salads and more. See products >>

Simplot Harvest Fresh Avocados™: Get the rich flavor and nutrition of avocado without all the work, waste and inconsistency. Available in pulp, slices, dices and guacamole, in refrigerated and frozen versions. See products >>

Simplot Simple Goodness™ Vegetables: Choose from dozens of great options that make it easier to offer consistently great veggies year round. See products >>


1 Datassential MenuTrends , 2017