Aramark Meets Consumer Preferences With Plant-Based Beyond Meat Products

Posted On: 8/13/2019

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JUST LIKE MEAT: Aramark's Beyond Meat innovations include Bratwurst at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium (l.) Creole Bowl and Creole Plate.

PHILADELPHIA -- Aramark chefs are using products like Beyond Meat's burgers, sausage and crumbles to expand menu selections and provide the choices that meet individual lifestyle and dietary preferences on college campuses, in hospitals and businesses, at schools and in ballparks nationwide.

Aramark data indicates 60% of consumers want to reduce their meat consumption, with 33% identifying health and 17% identifying weight management as motivators. In addition to offering guests more choices, developing more plant-based menu options aligns with Aramark's efforts to accelerate climate-healthy menus that lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"The trick for us is to develop and offer unique meatless options that taste great and appeal to consumers who might want to try something new and those who follow plant-forward diets," said Aramark vice-president of product development and culinary innovation Heidi Hogan. "Early on, we understood that consumer preferences were driving a need for quality plant-forward offerings and our culinary team has been working with a broad range of plant-based products, to create more enticing menu choices."

The concepts Aramark is currently offering, or working to develop, with Beyond Meat products include a gumbo bowl for hospital patient menus using Beyond Sausage, which will be part of its patient bowl pilot program. The Twisted Beet, Aramark's new plant-forward comfort food concept, offers a signature New Orleans-inspired plate, featuring "dirty grains" and greens topped with Beyond Sausage. Additional offerings include cauliflower macaroni and cheese and avocado kale salad.

Aramark also continues to develop new Beyond Burger concepts for sports fans, including the Caribbean-inspired option at Minute Maid Park, in Houston, that includes black beans, avocado, pineapple and Sriracha. Aramark also offers baseball fans Beyond Sausage topped with fried shallots at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, and Beyond Sausage Brat Original at a dedicated vegan stand at Citi Field, in Queens, NY.

Aramark serves nearly 2 billion meals each year and launched a major plant-forward initiative to elevate the role of healthy ingredients on its menus in colleges and universities, hospital cafés and workplace locations. So far, it's developed more than 200 new plant-based recipes and 30% of its menu offerings are vegan or vegetarian. It's reduced the amount of red meat by 5 an average of 5% in its recipes and more than 1,200 chefs have been trained in plant-based culinary innovation workshops.