For World Vegan Month (November), three top universities are testing limited-time vegan options made by Sweet Earth Foods—a vegetarian brand owned by Nestlé. Throughout the month, University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst students will be able to try the PB Triple Play—an all-vegan bacon cheeseburger created for the foodservice sector. On November 12, Notre Dame students will also be able to try the PB Triple Play on campus. At Yale, students will be treated to a variety of vegan options made with Sweet Earth’s plant-based meat on November 10 and November 11, including breakfast sandwiches and bowls featuring Sweet Earth’s vegan sausage, meatless lasagna made with the brand’s Awesome Grounds, and pizza topped with its Mindful Chik’n and Awesome Grounds.
“Plant-based food options have played a significant role in our ‘good for people and good for planet’ menu designs. We continue to work with leading manufacturers in developing product options that meet our requirements and are delicious,” Rafi Taherian, Associate Vice President Yale Hospitality, said. “Nestlé has provided us with a number of these solutions that we have since incorporated into our offerings.”
The test launch is in response to data that shows 65 percent of Generation Z wants to follow a more “plant-forward” diet with 70 percent of the demographic aiming to eat meatless meals once to twice per week. “I am always looking for new, tasty, and sustainable options in the dining commons, something that I can feel good about eating,” UMass undergraduate student Ophia Voziki said. “I’m excited UMass Amherst is leading the way to a more inclusive dining experience across college campuses for all students.”
The partnership is part of a larger plan to incorporate Sweet Earth’s plant-based options into university cafeteria options and these launches are expected to lead to permanent menu additions. “Thankfully, plant-based dining on university campuses no longer means scraping something together at the salad bar,” Fleur Veldhoven, Nestlé Professional Vice President of Marketing, said. “We are happy to be able to offer a diversity of flavorful plant-based ingredients for colleges, restaurants, and retailers under the Sweet Earth brand to help increase access to high-quality culinary options that appeal to the masses.”