It's no secret that plant-based alternative meat products manufactured by Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, and others are hot right now. In fact, at a current price of about $171 per share, the value of Beyond Meat stock has surged more than 580 percent since the company's IPO in early May. So, it's no surprise that all sorts of restaurants are adding plant-based alternative meat products to their menus.

In just one example, today, Mexican food chain Del Taco announced that it is going to join in the fun with the introduction of two new signature burritos pictured above--the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito, and the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito--made with Beyond Meat plant-based protein. When the company introduced its new Beyond Tacos in April, they quickly became one of the company's most successful new product launches ever. 

While McDonald's has notably avoided non-meat burgers and other products in the United States (the company is selling plant-based McVegan burgers in Scandinavia, the Big Vegan TS in Germany, and vegan "chicken" nuggets in Norway), other fast-food chains and fast-casual restaurants have jumped on the plant-based burger bandwagon in a big way. So far, burgers made by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are available at:

  • Burger King
  • White Castle
  • Red Robin
  • Umami Burger
  • Fatburger
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Applebee's
  • Dave and Busters
  • A&W (Canada)
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • TGI Fridays
  • Carl's Jr.
  • And more...

In addition, you can get pizzas made with plant-based meat at Little Caesars, Blaze Pizza, and others, and Mexican food with plant-based meat at Qdoba, and of course, Del Taco.

Clearly, this is a trend that has legs. Plant-based dining was named the number one dining trend for 2018 by international food and restaurant consultants Baum & Whiteman, and Mintel's market research revealed these trends:

  • 31 percent of Americans choose to have meat-free days.
  • 35 percent of Americans get most of their protein from sources other than red meat.
  • 66 percent of people who eat non-meat protein believe these are healthier than red meat.
  • 83 percent of US consumers are adding plant-based foods to their diets to improve their health.
  • 62 percent are adding plant-based foods to their diets to help with weight management.
  • 58 percent of US adults drink non-dairy milk.

In addition to meat substitutes, plant-based food products include such things as cheese, yogurt, milk, and much more. So, if they're not currently on your menu, chances are one or more of these plant-based products will be on it in the not-too-distant future.

Published on: Jun 19, 2019
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