U.S. consumers are increasing their intake of protein, but they are thinking outside of the usual chicken, beef and pork. According to a recent Nation’s Restaurant News article, Americans are increasing their consumption of plant-based protein, which is why chefs and producers are providing more meat-free options and varieties.
Nielsen reports that 40 percent of Americans are actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods, and 23 percent are looking for plant-based proteins in particular. These numbers prove much higher than those identifying themselves as vegetarians or vegans.
Because of this trend, restaurant chains are investing in menu items that provide a similar taste and texture to meat made with ingredients like peas, beans, soy proteins, quinoa, rice or veggies. The meatless burger scene is one that is standing out and being made popular with the Impossible Burger–now offered by chains such as Bareburger, Umami Burger and Fatburger. With a higher cost, franchises are selling this item at $8 or $9 in order to bring in a similar profit.