Woman reading menu, ProVeg NFH

Image courtesy ProVeg International

Menu Design Strategies to Grow Plant-Based Sales

Plant-forward diets are on the rise across Europe. Not only are European consumers looking to increase their consumption of many plant-based foods, but, according to the latest consumer research, more than half of Europeans are reducing their annual meat intake. In the background, social scientists have been hard at work advancing the social sciences around food choice. One promising intervention that can nudge people towards better food choices is varying the design and description of foodservice menus. It’s vital that foodservice businesses looking to boost plant-based sales learn how to optimise their menus and encourage more meat-eaters to choose their plant-based options. In its recent New Food Hub article, ProVeg International brought together the latest reports and surveys on menu design and consumer behaviour, to …

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Pleese Cheese shreds

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Pleese Cheese Partners with Performance Food Group for Nationwide US Expansion

Article amended 12 April to reflect Webstaurant’s shipping capabilities, at the company’s request. Pleese Cheese, a NYC-based plant-based pizza cheese brand, has announced a national expansion in partnership with Performance Food Group (PFG), a leading American foodservice distributor with a network of 150 hubs and 300,000 restaurants. The company creates plant-based cheese alternatives designed specifically for pizza, offering a delicious, melty option free from dairy, nuts, and soy. Crafted with a mixture of fava bean protein, potato, and coconut oil, its formulation prioritizes meltability. This cheese substitute adopts a clean label strategy, utilizing a minimal selection of natural ingredients. Following its launch in 2022, the company originally partnered with Webstaurant Store to serve the US foodservice market through ecommerce. However, it found that one of …

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Veg.edible owners

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Veg.edible Breaks New Ground in Omaha as City’s First Kosher Vegan Eatery

Veg.edible, which opened its doors at the end of last year, has now been officially certified as the first kosher vegan restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. Under the supervision of Rabbi Mordechai Geiger and Rav Tal, Veg.edible has obtained Kashrut, ensuring adherence to Jewish dietary laws. Founded by Stacie Van Cleave and Matt Hyde, Veg.Edible aims to provide a quick and casual dining experience that caters to a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions, including vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free options. All dishes are free from animal products and by-products, including meat, dairy, lactose, and gelatin. Ingredients such as sugar are sourced without the use of bone char. Growing demand for kosher vegan options The demand for alternative protein sources is growing among consumers, including those who …

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Rebellyous chicken cafeteria

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Rebellyous Foods Partners with Chicago Schools to Serve Plant-Based Chicken for National Nutrition Month

Chicago Public Schools (CPS), one of the United States’ largest school districts, has partnered with Rebellyous Foods to serve plant-based chicken and waffles in approximately 100 of its schools. This initiative, which started in March to coincide with National Nutrition Month, utilizes Rebellyous Foods’ plant-based chicken products to expand the nutritional and sustainable options available to students. Illinois has implemented initiatives that support the adoption of plant-based menu options in schools. In 2022, the state announced a bill (House Bill 4089), which mandated that all the state’s school districts would need to provide plant-based meals on request that met federal nutrition guidelines. The state has also been at the forefront of alternative protein development, with UPSIDE Foods announcing that it would build its first commercial …

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TOUS les JOURS X Oatly

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Oatly Named Exclusive Oatmilk Partner Across 100+ TOUS les JOURS Bakeries in US

TOUS les JOURS, a bakery café chain known for its wide range of gourmet pastries, cakes, and desserts, has initiated a new partnership with Oatly, a global leader in oat drink production. Oatly is now the exclusive oatmilk partner for TOUS les JOURS in the United States, which has established a strong presence since its inception in 2004, with over 100 local stores and more than 1,750 globally. To commemorate the partnership, the bakery chain also introduced two novel beverage options infused with Oatly oatmilk, available from March 21 at participating outlets nationwide. The collaboration introduces the Shakerato, an iced espresso drink shaken with vanilla syrup and topped with Oatly’s Barista Edition Oatmilk, and the Shaken Tea Latte, combining Assam tea and vanilla syrup with …

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Sodexo - Chesapeake Mini-Cakes

Chesapeake Mini-Cakes © Sodexo

Sodexo Makes Plant-Based Meals the Norm in US Campus Restaurants

Sodexo USA recently announced that it has massively expanded the use of the DefaultVeg strategy in university dining halls. This strategy, which was first piloted by Sodexo in collaboration with the Better Food Foundation and the Food for Climate League in university canteens with all-you-can-eat offerings, uses behavioral incentives to encourage a plant-based dietary change. The expansion of offerings coincides with the publication of a recent peer-reviewed study conducted in Sodexo-operated dining halls, which concluded that offering plant-based meals as a standard may preserve students’ freedom of choice while encouraging them to choose these meals more often. The study, authored by Boston College researchers Joel Ginn and Gregg Sparkman, was published in the February issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and was conducted by …

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Peet's Coffee spring lineup

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Peet’s Coffee Introduces the Southwest Breakfast Burrito with JUST Egg & Violife Cheese

Peet’s Coffee, operating around 360 locations in the US, China, and Dubai, has announced its spring menu for 2024, including the new plant-based Southwest Breakfast Burrito. The new menu addition is described as “savory plant-based chorizo, JUST Egg, and Violife cheddar wrapped in a tortilla with southwestern flavors—black beans, corn, potatoes, salsa verde, and green chiles”. The famous coffee chain, based in Emeryville California, and in business for over 50 years, has traditionally added plant-based options to its spring menu for some years now, most famously in 2021 it debuted the Everything Plant-Based Sandwich featuring the Beyond Breakfast Sausage and JUST Egg, which became a customer favorite and is now a permanent offering. A yearly plant-based tradition Following the 2021 spring launch, in 2022 Peet’s …

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IKEA plant dog

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IKEA Brings Famous Plant Dog to USA, Priced Less Than Meat Hot Dog at Just 70 Cents

IKEA has introduced a new addition to its plant-based menu offerings in the United States with the launch of the Plant Dog. Priced at just seventy cents, this latest food item is set to join a variety of meat-free options already available at IKEA, including Plant Balls, Veggie Balls, and Veggie Dogs. The introduction of the Plant Dog to the US market follows its introduction in Europe, where it has been available since last summer.  Unlike IKEA’s Veggie Dog, which is made with kale, lentils, quinoa, onions, and wheat protein, the Plant Dog has been designed to more closely mimic a traditional hot dog. It utilizes ingredients such as rice protein, apple, and onion, along with seasonings to achieve a smoky flavor. Helene von Reis, …

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Before the Butcher pepperoni

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Before the Butcher Partners with Rosati’s Pizza and DOT Foods to Expand Plant-Based Pepperoni Distribution

Before the Butcher, a producer of plant-based proteins for foodservice, has announced strategic expansions in its distribution network to increase the availability of its plant-based pepperoni. The expansion includes enhanced partnerships with DOT Foods, one of North America’s largest food industry redistributors, and a collaboration with Rosati’s Pizza for a national product test. The partnership with DOT Foods, a major distributor that handles over 125,000 products from more than 1,000 manufacturers, will significantly extend Before the Butcher’s reach within the foodservice industry. This collaboration marks a notable development since the introduction of the company’s plant-based pepperoni to the foodservice sector last year, initially aimed at retailers enhancing their private label selections. Danny O’Malley, founder and president of Before the Butcher, stated, “Our plant-based pepperoni has …

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Wagamama and Willy's Pies launch mushroom, kimchee, and edamame pie

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Wagamama Partners With Willy’s Pies to Launch Vegan Mushroom, Kimchee and Edamame Pie

Japanese-inspired British restaurant chain Wagamama has partnered with pie brand Willy’s Pies to launch a new plant-based dish — the Mushroom, Kimchee and Edamame Pie. The pie contains king oyster mushrooms, diced aubergine, and edamame beans in a katsu curry sauce. It is topped with kimchee and served with a side salad, along with Wagamama’s raisukatsu sauce. The pie aims to fuse traditional British cuisine with Asian flavours. Wagamama and Willy’s Pies previously collaborated in November to create a chicken katsu pie, and have developed the new vegan option in line with Wagamama’s commitment to a 50% plant-based menu. The pies will be available at 19 selected Wagamama locations UK-wide; a tour truck will also bring free samples to various cities, in celebration of British …

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Students eating outside

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Kent State University Partners with Forward Food, Aims for 30% Plant-Based Meals by 2026

Kent State University in Ohio has announced its plan to increase its plant-based meal offerings to 30% across all dining services by 2026. This initiative, developed in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States’ Forward Food program, aims to enhance the sustainability and nutritional value of food choices available to students on campus. Kent State University’s decision to double the plant-based meal target comes after the university successfully exceeded its previous objective of making 15% of its meals plant-based in its residential dining facilities. Sarah Korzan, a licensed and registered dietician and assistant director of Kent State’s culinary services, says that the shift is part of a move to cater to the diverse dietary preferences of the student population. “With over a third …

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Largest ever Vurger Co. location opens

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The Vurger Co Closes its Doors, Citing Government Failures & “Anti-Vegan Misinformation”

British vegan fast food chain The Vurger Co has closed its doors for the last time, following years of “seemingly endless domestic and international crises”. After launching in 2016, The Vurger Co. opened four locations in total — two in London, one in Brighton, and one in Manchester. The restaurants have served hundreds of thousands of burgers over the years, including to celebrities such as Billie Eilish. The chain also launched a range of sauces for retail at Ocado, Whole Foods, and Co-op, as well as further afield at stores in Los Angeles, New York City, and Dubai. But like most hospitality businesses, The Vurger Co struggled during the pandemic, heightened by what the company describes as “infuriating government policy”. Ensuing crises, such as the …

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Impact Food x Pokeworks

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Pokeworks Expands Partnership with Impact Food, Bringing Plant-Based Tuna to San Francisco and New York

Plant-based seafood producer Impact Food, and Pokeworks, an American fast-casual poke chain, have announced an expansion of their partnership in the US. The collaboration, which initially began with a limited partnership at the Pokeworks location in Irvine, California last June, has now expanded to include all Pokeworks locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, followed by a launch in New York City locations in March. Kelly Pan, CEO of Impact Food, enthused, “Our mission at Impact Food is to revolutionize the food industry by providing delicious, nutritious, and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional seafood. Our partnership with Pokeworks underscores our mutual commitment to a sustainable future where plant-based options are preferred. The launch in New York City and San Francisco is just the beginning.” Impact …

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Vegan Zeastar plant-based seafood pop-up

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Vegan Zeastar Opens Pop-Up Plant-Based Seafood Restaurant in The Hague

Dutch plant-based seafood brand Vegan Zeastar, owned by Vegan Finest Foods, is opening its first-ever pop-up restaurant. The restaurant will be located at Zèta, a vegan cafe at Grote Markt in The Hague, from March 5-10. The menu will feature a range of dishes showcasing Vegan Zeastar’s extensive product range, which includes Sashimi, King No Crab, Shrimpz, and King No Crab Cakes. The meals will be prepared by Zèta’s chefs. The pop-up is for “everyone who wants to try something different, whether it is for the experience, for your health, for the environment, or for the animals”. Those interested in attending can now book a table. “We are excited to host our first pop-up restaurant at Zèta,” said Rosella D’angeli, co-founder of Vegan Zeastar. “This …

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Havredals burger

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Havredals Enters US Market with Plant-Based Meat Alternatives in Partnership with Performance Food Group

Havredals, the Swedish producer of plant-based mouldable meats, announced its official debut in the US market. The company has established a vendor agreement with Performance Food Group (PFG), a leading food distributor in Virginia, signaling the start of its product availability across the East Coast of the US, including Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and more. Havredals’ line-up for the US market features its plant-based beef and chicken burgers, as well as ground beef and chicken alternatives. These products are crafted from a blend of fava beans, peas, and oats, offering a clean label and whole food option for health-conscious consumers. Fava beans are known for their regenerative agricultural benefits, high solubility, emulsifying properties, and high amino acid profile, making them an attractive ingredient option for …

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Tacotarian

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Tacotarian: Winning Over Omnivores with Innovative Plant-Based Mexican Cuisine

Tacotarian is carving out a distinct niche within the Mexican food segment in the United States: 100% plant-based Mexican dishes, using house-made alternative proteins for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Launched in Las Vegas in 2018, Tacotarian’s mission is to redefine and modernize traditional Mexican-American dining, using authentic flavors, seasonings, and cooking methods coupled with plant-based proteins to provide an innovative option that appeals to a broad audience. In fact, the majority of Tacotarian customers aren’t even vegan or vegetarian, with 75% of patrons identifying as omnivores/flexitarians. Modern approach to Mexican cuisine Kristen Corral, cofounder of Tacotarian, told Nation’s Restaurant News, “Our concept is really good Mexican food that just happens to be vegan. When you think of a Mexican-American restaurant, you think of yellow and …

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Barcelona’s UOBO Launches Liquid Plant-Based Eggs for Food Service

Barcelona-based startup UOBO has launched liquid plant-based eggs for food service in a 1-litre bottled format for the Spanish market. The startup says that it has garnered impressive results since its launch on social media platforms, with its first post receiving over 250,000 views in less than 24 hours. In addition, UOBO claims to have already received over 40 requests from interested restaurants, caterers, and distributors. The company’s 100% vegetable whole-eggs are said to adapt seamlessly to traditional recipes while offering great taste. UOBO can be cooked into multiple dishes, including omelets, scrambled eggs, pastries, custard, and mayonnaise. Even though UOBO is described as a nutritious alternative to eggs, the company has not as yet revealed its ingredients on social media.  Making better eggs Founded …

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NFL players invest in robot-powered meat-free restaurant

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NFL Stars Invest in Chipotle Founder’s Robot-Powered Meat-Free Restaurant

Kernel, the robot-powered meat-free restaurant concept created by Chipotle founder Steve Ells, has received funding from two star NFL players. Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (who is vegan) and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones have both invested in the company, receiving equity stakes in exchange. The first Kernel restaurant is set to open in the Flatiron District of New York City on February 12, at 315 Park Ave South. It will initially focus on lunch, opening from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Kernel previously raised $36 million in Series A funding in August; participants included Raga Partners, Willoughby Capital, Rethink Food, and Virtru. Improved efficiency Kernel aims to address inefficiencies in food service by using a semi-automated operational process, featuring a robotic arm to …

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Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Serving Plant-Based Success on School Plates: Interview with ProVeg UK’s School Plates Programme

“We started in 2018 with one local authority partner in the UK. Six years on we’re working with a quarter of all the local authorities in the UK. That’s about 6,300 schools, over a million meals a day that we’re influencing, and over 12 million meals that we’ve swapped from meat-based to plant-based. So it seems to be working,” says Colette Fox, Head of Programme at ProVeg UK’s School Plates programme. The School Plates programme, run by the UK branch of international food awareness NGO, ProVeg International, has had some striking success. Harnessing the power of behavioural nudges (and, of course, delicious plant-based food), the team is making a big impact in school canteens across the United Kingdom. The scheme is continuing to grow, with …

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Prime Roots

© Prime Roots

Prime Roots Partners With Three Little Pigs to Bring Plant-Based Pâté to NYC

Prime Roots, the producer of koji-based deli meats, has partnered with Three Little Pigs, an artisanal charcuterie and pâté maker, to introduce its collection of plant-based pâtés and foie gras to customers in New York City. The range blends traditional French cuisine with the innovative and sustainable ingredients of Prime Root’s plant-based products, including its Black Truffle Koji-Pâté, Harvest Apple Koji-Pâté, and Koji-Foie Gras. These products are developed using koji, a fungi root commonly utilized in Asian cuisines for its umami-rich qualities, which is key to replicating the taste and texture of meat-based products. Founder and CEO of Prime Roots, Kimberlie Le, commented on the launch, saying, “It’s so fun to wow people’s tastebuds with a plant-based koji-pâté, and koji-foie gras that gives people the …

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