Consumers: We Want More Plant-Based Protein

A new study reveals consumers want more plant-based options than the food service industry is providing.


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According to a new study by behavior analytics site Datassential, consumers are interested in more plant-based options while the food service industry is not adjusting fast enough to meet those demands. In a survey, 634 operators (a group consisting of the head decision makers at restaurants and on-site food service companies) and 1,013 consumers were polled regarding key protein issues. Amongst other statistics, 82 percent of consumers said they looked for nuts on menus while only 44 percent of operators provided them. Similar discrepancies existed for legumes, nut butters, and tofu. Additionally, the study found that customers prefer meat as “a garnish.” In keeping with meat-free demands, Washington, DC’s fine dining restaurant Equinox, international chain Subway, and cafés at Google have added meatless protein to their menus while food magazine Bon Appetit named San Francisco-based meat-on-the-side eatery AL’s Place its top new restaurant of 2015.