As consumer demand for plant-based foods grows, so do the opportunities to expand availability of plant-based options and meet hungry consumers where they are. The foodservice landscape ranges from restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, to corporate catering and these venues play a pivotal role in making these new and innovative plant-based options accessible to a broader audience. In alignment with this expansion, PBFA is committed to understanding how plant-based foods are performing across foodservice, leveraging cutting-edge consumer insights, and building data-driven context to inform the potential for future plant-based growth.

We are excited to announce the launch of our “State of the Marketplace: Foodservice” report. The report provides valuable insights for foodservice operators and plant-based brands alike. As the culinary landscape continues to evolve, embracing plant-based foods and offering diverse, bold, and delicious options will be the key to success in the foodservice industry.

Key Highlights from the Report

  • Plant-Based Foods Flourish in Restaurants: Nearly half of all restaurants in the United States now offer plant-based options on their menus, a remarkable 62% increase in plant-based menu items over the past decade. This sustained growth during challenging times, including the COVID-19 pandemic, underscores the staying power of plant-based foods in the industry.
  • Anticipated Growth in Sales: Foodservice operators are optimistic about the future of plant-based foods. They anticipate increased or stable sales of plant-based food and beverages in the coming year. Notably, four times as many operators plan to add plant-based meat to their menus in 2023 compared to those planning to remove it.
  • Plant-Based Foods Speak to Consumer Values: Consumer preferences are at the heart of the plant-based revolution. Health, ethical and environmental concerns, taste and variety, allergen avoidance, dietary restrictions, and social influences are key factors driving consumers to choose plant-based foods.
  • Opportunities for Foodservice Operators: Expanding plant-based options on menus, providing bold flavors, and introducing innovative offerings can enhance the overall dining experience. For brands, building strong relationships with foodservice operators is also crucial to meeting increased demand and overcoming production hurdles.
  • Innovation and Menu Trends: To keep up with evolving consumer preferences, foodservice operators are embracing innovation. Limited Time Offers (LTOs) featuring unique and flavor-forward plant-based options drive increased trials and customer satisfaction. Inclusive menus featuring both animal-based and plant-based options allow operators to cater to diverse consumer preferences while managing inventory efficiently.

“The rise of plant-based foods represents a culinary revolution driven by consumer demand for delicious, healthy, and sustainable dining experiences. With over 20% of consumers recognizing plant-based foods as the future of eating, foodservice operators have a golden opportunity to embrace menu innovation and provide bold, flavor-forward plant-based options that satiate the palate and elevate the dining experience.”

Hannah Lopez, Director of Marketplace Development, Foodservice

At PBFA, we are committed to supporting our members in this exciting journey. As the demand for plant-based foods continues to soar, staying responsive to evolving consumer preferences and embracing innovation will pave the way for a more sustainable and delicious future of foodservice.

To access the full report, click here.

Are you a PBFA Member Looking to Expand in Foodservice?

Check out the Foodservice Playbook: PBFA and New Hall Klein joined forces to create a foodservice playbook for the plant based industry. Within the playbook members will find strategic tools to help elevate their food service presence, hear from peers in the industry about best practices and approaches to building foodservice sales and relationships. This playbook is a comprehensive look at the industry and leans into the importance of brand strategy when it comes to having a presence on menus and selling to the operator.

Keep an eye on our PBFA member portal for more insights and thought leadership. Together, we can revolutionize the foodservice industry and make plant-based foods an integral part of the dining experience for consumers nationwide.