Plant-Based Meat Becoming Trendier: How to Promote it at your Restaurant

February 9, 2020


According to a new report by Markets and Markets, the plant-based meat market is projected to grow from a value of USD 12.1 billion in 2019, to reach a value of USD 27.9 billion by 2025. Customers, today, have many health concerns about the consumption of animal protein, either for medical reasons or as a healthy lifestyle. Hence, they demand protein substitutes, which reinforce the sales of plant-based meat products.

Plant-based meat has different health benefits like reduced cholesterol and lower blood pressure. The market produces many types of plant-based meat such as burger patties, sausages, strips & nuggets, and meatballs from many sources including soy, wheat, pea, quinoa, oats, beans, and nuts. These ingredients are mixed with natural minerals and flavors using heating, cooling, and pressure to make the fibrous texture of meat with continuous developments to create improved texture, enhanced shelf life, and better nutrient profiles.

Accordingly, it is time for restaurateurs to decide what fits their brands best when it comes to plant-based choices. Read on to find out how to promote your plant-based menu items.

1. Never Say No to Flavor:

Customers want healthy choices, but they also want these choices to have mouthwatering flavors.

JAMA Internal Medicine published a study to find the association between indulgent descriptions and vegetable consumption. They used four different descriptors for the same dish:

1) “Green beans” (basic description)

2) “Light ‘n’ low-carb green beans & shallots” (healthy restrictive description)

3) “Healthy energy-boosting green beans & shallots” (healthy positive description)

4) “Sweet sizzlin’ green beans and crispy shallots” (indulgent description).

Using the indulgent labeling, people ordered the green beans 25% more than the basic description, 35% more than the healthy positive description, and 41% more than healthy restrictive.

Therefore, when writing your menu make sure that plant-based menu items are as equally indulgent and flavorful as other options. Customers want a healthier, more eco-friendly, and animal-free experience.


2. Show your care about health:

Customers would choose specific dishes because they perceive them as healthier choices that are naturally free of cholesterol and saturated fats, and contain healthier fats. So, consider adding plant protein as a descriptor to cue health in the customers’ minds without indicating low flavor.


3. Highlight Your Sustainability Efforts:

In consumer plant-based demand, sustainability and environmental issues seem to be a crucial driver, after health. They consider plant-based substitutes to be sustainable choices as they are far less polluting and far less wasteful.

Add more value to the planet, to your customers, and to the bottom line through focusing on sustainability.


4. Offer plant-based dishes to reach up to Flexitarians and Millennials:

List plant-based options on one menu with all other entrees. This way you can attract flexitarians and millennials. Flexitarians are customers who have a primarily vegetarian diet but they occasionally eat meat. These two demographics are interested in the health and environmental benefits of plants.


5. Point out the protein source:

When writing the menu items’ description, it is better to highlight the source of the plant-based proteins such as soy, wheat, pea, quinoa, oats, beans, and nuts. Customers prefer to know what they are eating exactly.

It is also recommended to use terms like “plant-based” or “plant protein” rather than using “vegetarian” or “vegan”. This because using “Vegetarian” or “vegan” indicates an identity or a lifestyle. However, “Plant-based” describes the ingredients and their benefits.