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How is Meatless Consumerism Affecting Independent Restaurants?

September 07, 2021

One of the fastest-growing food trends is plant-based meals. In fact, 42 percent of global consumers consider themselves flexitarians or "part-time vegans." What does this burgeoning meatless trend mean for restaurateurs and their establishments? Can any restaurant make the meatless model work to maximize its bottom line? What’s driving the plant-based movement? Our bulk food store details the latest stats and facts so you can make the best decision for your establishment.

Reasons for plant-based food industry growth: healthy eating, environmentalism, savings, flavor.

What are the Reasons Behind Plant-Based Food Industry Growth?

Vegan and vegetarianism have been gaining in popularity for decades in the United States. However, in the past few years, the food industry has seen a surge in plant-based protein consumption. A few of the top reasons why consumers are replacing meat with produce, legumes, and grains include: 

  • Healthy Eating: Reducing meat intake has full-body benefits, from heart health to weight loss and more. Eating habits built around wellness are expected to continue in the coming years. According to a study conducted by Instacart, 30 percent of their shoppers plan to keep cooking with plant-based ingredients. 
  • Environmentalism: Meat and dairy production is responsible for 14.5 percent of all person-made greenhouse gas emissions. With climate change becoming a significant concern, many Americans are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. More plant-based consumption is one way for the public to help make a positive impact on our environment.
  • Savings: There are a number of factors that can cause meat prices to rise. When that happens, many people look for ways to keep budgets in check. Turning to wholesale bulk vegetables and plant-based options is a great way for consumers to save money and supplement more expensive meat products. 
  • Flavor: Modern consumers have sophisticated palates, and many people embrace plant-based meals because they allow for innovation and fresh flavors. Plus, with meaty-tasting vegan options, like Impossible Burger, going meatless still delivers on satisfying flavors.

What Does Meatless Mean for Your Restaurant?

Plant-based products are expected to reach $14.9 billion in global sales by 2027.

Interestingly, consumers aren’t necessarily going full-on vegan or dining only at vegetarian restaurants. Many choose to adopt a flexitarian lifestyle, which allows them to enjoy meat, but with less frequency. For independent restaurants, this means the rise of the plant-based meal is excellent news. Plant-based products are expected to reach $14.9 billion in global sales by 2027, so restaurateurs have the capability of capturing more revenue for years to come.

Interested in knowing how your restaurant concept can welcome the meatless movement? Check out some of these innovative plant-based ideas for any establishment:

No matter your cuisine, chefs and owners can tap into a broader customer base by incorporating creative meatless dishes into their existing menus without a complete overhaul. Introducing plant-based items to your menu can help satisfy consumers, drive down costs, and increase revenue.

Plant-Based Bulk Food for Restaurants at US Foods CHEF’STORE

High-quality produce, bulk grains and legumes, ready-to-cook meat alternatives, nut milk, and more can be found at CHEF’STORE. Whether you are looking for meatless options for a  vegan menu or a few intriguing ingredients for your next meatless entree, we have everything you are looking for under one roof. Stop by one of our locations today to browse our extensive selection of wholesale restaurant products or get your items delivered to your kitchen.

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