For restaurants expecting a crowd for the Big Game, US Foods wants to make sure operators are prepared to meet diner demand. Fueled by the trend of more people – especially millennials and Gen Zs – going meat free, whether for themselves or in an effort to be more sustainable, the growth of plant-based menu items in the U.S. has skyrocketed, growing more than 300 percent in the past year alone, according to Datassential.
According to US Foods, a leading foodservice distributor, savvy operators are scoring big with plant-based meat alternatives as simple substitutes or new additions to their menus. And, for the big game, the usual sports bar favorites such as chicken wings, nachos and burgers are the perfect target to meet evolving trends head-on.
To help inspire operators with simple solutions for pleasing everyone on the team, US Foods suggests the following:
Wing It: Chicken wings are a fan favorite, so offering a meatless version is an easy win. Molly’s Kitchen Meatless Boneless Breaded Wings are the perfect vegetarian alternative. They are versatile enough for the addition of an operator’s own spicy wing sauce, served alongside a buffalo-style or blue cheese dipping sauce and another meatless favorite such as French fries.
Nachos For All: Cheesy, savory nachos packed with toppings are always a crowd-pleaser. That’s why Molly’s Kitchen Meatless Crumbles are a simple substitute that’ll have everyone cheering. Vegetarian Meatless Crumbles are appearing on more menus as an easy and seamless meat alternative. They offer the comparable flavor, performance, texture and appearance to traditional cooked ground beef and are versatile enough to use in a variety of dishes.
Burger 2.0: Plant-based burgers are quickly growing in popularity and offering an option like the Impossible Burger is a classic substitution. Soon, US Foods will get in the game with its own exclusive brand, Molly’s Kitchen Plant-Based Burger Patty. Available this March, the 4-ounce patty is made with a blend of pea protein and fava-bean protein, and wheat instead of soy, delivering 23 grams of protein. It’s a new juicy, savory vegan burger that tastes like the real thing.
“Raising the bar with new product innovative that can meet evolving diner demands is a key focus for how we help our restaurant operators succeed in this highly competitive environment,” says Stacey Kinkaid, vice president of product development and innovation at US Foods. “We want our operators to think differently about how the increased demand in the meatless category can best serve new and existing customers, and that’s why we’ve been bringing new solutions to our operators since the trend started to take shape. With the addition of our Exclusive Brand meat-based burger coming soon, we are excited to keep the momentum going.”
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