The appetite for plant-based foods is ever-expanding, with Food Ingredients First recently reporting that 56 percent of consumers are trying to increase their consumption of plant-based foods.
“More and more consumers are seeking out plant-based alternatives to satisfy their needs for conscious and flexible meal options,” says Jamie Reynolds of Burke Corporation. “Quick-service operators have an opportunity to provide a diverse and flexible menu that meets changing customer needs.”
Meanwhile, the industry faces a staggering number of challenges, headlined by the labor and supply chain crises. This slideshow will take a look at how using BURKE® Alternatives, a diverse line of plant-based foods created by Burke Corporation, can help chefs meet consumer demand while reducing operational complexities.
It’s as challenging as it's ever been to innovate and create menu items that cooks will be able to consistently execute. It’s why Burke went to work on creating a line of chef-friendly, plant-based items that would work on any menu, in any daypart.
BURKE® Plant-Based Alternatives consists of six fully-cooked formats: Plant-Based Crumbles; Plant-Based Italian-Style Crumbles; Plant-Based Breakfast-Style Crumbles; Plant-Based Chorizo-Style Crumbles; Plant-Based Pepperoni-Style Crumbles; and Plant-Based Pepperoni Style Topping. They are designed to deliver on taste and give consumers the plant-based options they are looking for, all the while providing chefs and operators with versatile, reliable ingredients at a time when they need them most.
Further, Burke gives chefs the option of helping customize a solution that fits their needs. Burke will help develop a flavor, format, and appearance that’s right for their operation and dish.
Something For Everyone
A common misconception is that vegans and vegetarians are the only consumers who enjoy plant-based foods. The growing ubiquity of plant-based foods seems to actually be a result of the growing number of diners who identify as flexitarians—a recent survey conducted by One Poll on behalf of Sprouts Farmers Market revealed that 54 percent of those aged 24 to 39 identified as flexitarians.
Plant-based foods can also be a great solution for at least some of the 26 million Americans who have some sort of allergy.1 In this way, BURKE® Alternatives help chefs create menu items that make their operation more appealing to diners who may have previously eaten elsewhere.
“For consumers who have already made plant-based alternatives a staple of their diet, the diversity of great taste profiles is what sets our products apart,” Reynolds says. “For consumers looking to dip their toes in the plant-based space, it is the consistency of our products that they will love—our plant-based alternatives have the look and feel of the meat products that customers are accustomed to.”
1 Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. JAMA NetwOpen. 2019;2(1):e185630.doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5630
Innovation, Not Inflation
Supply chain inflation has made it increasingly difficult for chefs to tap into their creative sides and innovate. This is yet another reason chefs will love BURKE® Alternatives: They open up endless possibilities while keeping food costs under control.
“Savvy operators are turning labor and supply challenges into a unique opportunity to get creative,” says Kyle Flottman of Burke Corporation. “We are seeing a lot of quick-service restaurants substituting plant-based into existing applications, but we are also seeing operators move past plant-based burgers and utilizing plant-based in other popular menu items, namely pizza and bowls.”
The Experts Can Help
BURKE® Alternatives can be used in a wide variety of menu ideas. If chefs and operators are looking for more inspiration, the Burke team is here to help restaurant leaders find the right protein solutions for their individual needs.
“Our experienced and innovative R&D team can work with you to formulate the perfect protein for the application you’re seeking to create,” Flottman says. “We invite chefs and operators to reach out and experience the Burke difference.”
For more on meeting the moment with plant-based foods, visit the Burke Corporation website.