“The idea of plant-based can be a little intimidating,” admits Nestle Professional’s Nutrition & Sustainability Manager, Cassie Hoover. “But there’s something very approachable about trying Veganuary. There’s a receptivity that might not be there the rest of the year.” That’s where you–the chef–come in. Respond accordingly with new, plant-forward menu items that showcase your restaurant’s concept and vision. Tempt them with dishes they would want to order, regardless of its plant status. Seize the chance to dabble. Bring something new to the table.
Plant-based eating has spiked more than 3,000% over the past four years. 1
The huge growth in plant-centric cuisine can be attributed in large part to Gen-Z and millennial diners2—a group crowd that is swayed by both the environmental impact of eating meat, and an open-mindedness toward new flavors and ways of eating.
“That younger dining base presents a unique opportunity in that they are also open to trying new foods,” explains Hoover.
Even for clientele not willing to commit to going all vegan for a month, conditions are ripe for introducing plant-forward menu items. Meal philosophies have shifted, and meat is no longer expected to take center stage at every meal. Dishes that showcase a flavorful vegetable or whole grains can hold their own on your menu. Flexitarian lifestyles—where diners opt for largely—but not exclusively—Vegetarian meals will undoubtedly continue to increase in years to come.
1 Datassential SNAP! Plant Based (2021)
2 Datassential CPP 2019/2020
Where to Start?
Minor’s® is here to help you execute flavor-forward dishes (that also happen to be plant-based).
Play to your strengths.
Tweak a popular item you’ve served to make it vegan. Swap in MINOR’S® Vegan Alfredo Sauce in a pasta or flatbread recipe. The smooth, decadent texture provides the feel of a rich, fulfilling dish.
Give them something they recognize.
Offer a play on a classic winter dish. “A familiar comfort dish made vegan is a great way of approaching it,” suggests Hoover. Comfort foods offer a safe starting place for diners who are new to a plant-based lifestyle.
Think outside your borders.
Vegetable-forward dishes present the perfect palette to incorporate bold, global flavors. Unexpected spices and flavor profiles can up the appeal of a vegetable, grain, or bean dish. Brighten up your menu with a Moroccan-Inspired Root Vegetable Stew, or creamy Mexican Enchiladas.
Seize the season.
Roast some winter squash and brussels sprouts and bathe them in a rich Vegan Alfredo sauce. Make a smooth and luscious butternut squash soup with MINOR’S® Reduced Vegetable Stock.
Lead with What’s to Love.
Make it a dish you want to eat—that happens to be plant-based. “It’s all about the flavor,” Hoover reminds us. “It’s not enough to offer a vegan dish, it has to taste great. It has to be approachable. Don’t lead with the fact that it’s vegan.” Minor’s® will deliver that flavor, so operators can concentrate on doing what they do best: crafting amazing cuisine.
Whether diners take the plunge and go fully vegan, or simply make a concerted effort to choose plant-based ingredients over meat, Minor’s® has many options to offer you. Options with staying power–long after Veganuary comes to an end. Plant-based is here to stay, and so are we. In need of inspiration? Give us a call. Let’s talk veggies.