The Culinary Edge (TCE), America’s leading food and beverage innovation consultancy, announced its partnership with McCain Foods USA, a national supplier of frozen potato and snack food products, on the creation of a new vegetable appetizer line. In response to changing consumer preferences, particularly among health-conscious flexitarians, the two companies came together and introduced V’DGZ, a line of plant and vegetable shareables that bring a playful crispy take to menu favorites.  

V’DGZ highlights “meat replacers” and “plant celebrators” including CAULI WNGZ – large, pickled cauliflower florets with a clear, crispy coating; CORN RBZ – crispy sweet corn on the cob curls in a light hickory-smoked batter and BRUSSLZ – lightly seasoned Brussels sprout halves with a crispy crust. These concepts underwent rigorous evaluation to ensure they would meet the demands of consumers, operators and manufacturing standards.  

“Over the last several years, plant and vegetable-based appetizers have seen tremendous growth due to consumers’ evolving perceptions of health, environment and animal welfare benefits. Our teams were able to leverage this demand for ‘meat replacers’ and create a variety of delicious vegetable-forward alternatives that diners and foodservice operators can enjoy,” says Graham Humphreys, CEO, The Culinary Edge. “We’re proud to say that the V’DGZ line won the National Restaurant Show’s 2023 FABI award – highlighting how forward-thinking and creative these products are. After a lot of research, collaboration and hard work, we can confidently say that you do not have to sacrifice flavor or fun when eating plant based.”  

The Culinary Edge partners with the best and brightest food and beverage concepts from start to finish.  Supporting early startups and established brands from quick-service chains to full-service restaurants, the consultancy group takes its culinary expertise and applies it to hospitality and entertainment brands as well as non-commercial foodservice operators.

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