With more than 30% of consumers increasing their plant-based consumption this year1, it’s smart to consider offering healthier alternatives. By incorporating veggie-forward trends into your menu, you can impact growth and engage consumer demand.
Plant-based bowls are a delightful way to highlight a medley of vibrant vegetables and utilize ingredients you may already have in your pantry. And with 52% of consumers interested in plant-based bowls2, this trend’s growth is on your side.
Include bases like quinoa, brown rice, or cauliflower rice, and top them with a mix of grilled or roasted seasonal vegetables. Add plant-based proteins like chickpeas, tempeh, or marinated tofu, and finish with a flavorful sauce such as tzatziki or harissa.
Summer and barbecues go hand in hand: Impress your guests with plant-based burgers made from ingredients like black beans, beets, or lentils. Items such as burgers, grinds, or sausages from the Green Origin® line of plant-based options can be tasty alternatives as well.
And don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients to swap in place of BBQ staples. Tofu, tempeh, or jackfruit lend themselves well to many flavor and spice combos, plus they can be roasted and served in sliders with slaw, crafted into jerky for a snack, or packed into tacos with a fruity salsa.
Mushrooms have also been moving from a side dish to the main attraction, as they’re an ideal alternative to traditional meat dishes, so swap in a portobello mushroom to spice up burgers and sandwiches.
While alternatives for beef, pork, and chicken are popular, the plant-based seafood trend continues to swim into the mainstream. Catch the wave and consider adding dishes like kelp chips or ceviche to app menus. Experiment with lobster rolls made from hearts of palm, scallops formed with king oyster mushrooms, or crab cakes crafted from chickpeas. All are cost-effective options that can be jazzed up with your housemade sauces.
The smoked vegetable trend continues to blossom, and it’s an innovative way to inject serious flavor into otherwise less flashy dishes. Consider a smoked beet hummus with extra umami that’s a treat for the eyes and taste buds. Smoked squash ribbons with a smoked garlic butter glaze can add growth to appetizer menus. Even try smoking beefsteak tomatoes, then stuffing them with mushrooms, onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, and cheese for a summery sensation served as a main or side.
While not necessarily plant-based, it’s possible to cool down customers with frozen treats that limit dairy. If you have time, churn up ice cream or shakes made from coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew milk. Check out Piancone® Sorbet for a dairy-free, but tasty alternative that’s chill for summertime. Even tahini-based cookies or playing around with chia pudding topped by coconut cream can bring the flavor while offering healthier properties.
1Datassential: Plant-Based, 2023