“The sauces we develop reduce strain on back-of-house operations,” says Daryan Johnson, R&D manager at Kagome USA. “Having fewer employees without sacrificing on quality—that’s a huge help in getting restaurants through labor shortages.”
Here’s an interesting note from that same Datassential report: while the price of meat has increased a whopping 84 percent since the beginning of 2022, and eggs and dairy have increased 44 percent, plant-based alternatives have increased less than 1 percent during the same time period.
This may be a great moment for operators to lean into the growing desire for plant-based foods. While the majority of Kagome’s sauces are naturally plant-based, the company has expanded its plant-based offerings a great deal over the past couple of years in order for operators to meet demand. Kagome USA recently introduced a line of plant-based butters (salted or unsalted) that serve as a one-for-one swap for traditional butter. Further, the plant-based butters can even help elevate dishes.
“Our line is similar to compound butter in that each spread is packed with fresh ingredients and flavor and is visibly appealing as a finisher or topper for countless dishes and cuisine categories,” Krieger says. “This allows culinary teams to create alternatives to the classic method of finishing dishes with butter—they can still create plant-based dishes and use our spreads as an alternative.”
Perhaps the biggest influx of business that Kagome USA has seen over the past couple of years has been due to the supply chain issues wreaking havoc on the industry. When a restaurant brand can no longer source the correct ingredients to make its signature sauces, Kagome USA turns to its research and development team, which specializes in recreating sauces to spec.
“From a research and development standpoint, we are not just trying to make great products to help enhance back-of-house efficiencies,” Johnson says. “We’re trying to move the food science discipline forward. We have an incredible team here at Kagome that’s on the fast track to do great things in the food-service space. Customers realize and recognize our ability to develop products that help them stand out amongst the competition.
“That goes back to The Kagome Way,” Johnson continues. “We recognize that our success is our client’s success, and vice versa.”
For more on The Kagome Way, visit the company’s website.