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Capitalizing on the Takeout Trend with Plant-Based Offerings



Consumer demand for healthier, sustainable, and diverse menu options is driving a new trend: plant-based takeout. This shift not only aligns with increasing health consciousness but also with environmental considerations, making it an essential strategy for foodservice operators aiming to drive revenue and customer satisfaction.

Offering plant-based versions of popular takeout dishes can help attract not only vegetarians and vegans but also a growing segment of ‘flexitarians’ who are trying to reduce their meat consumption without completely eliminating it.

Popular Dishes with a Plant-Based Twist

Here’s how you can give a plant-based twist to some popular takeout dishes:

Burgers: Swap beef patties for patties made from black beans or mushrooms. For example, a smoky black bean burger with avocado lime dressing can offer a tasty and satisfying alternative. If your clientele is still looking for a meaty bite, consider a popular and reliable plant-based meat brand such as Impossible Foods or Before The Butcher.

Pizza: Use a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms and broccoli. A pesto base with arugula and cherry tomatoes is a gourmet plant-based option that is both appealing and flavorful. For a vegan mozzarella, be sure to use a reliable manufacturer that specializes in pizza cheese. Consider NuMu, Pleese Cheese or Violife for meltability and flavor!

Tacos: Substitute chicken, chorizo or beef with a pea-protein-based alternative from Abbot’s Butcher. Or offer a taco filled with jackfruit, seasoned with chipotle and topped with fresh cilantro and avocado, to provide a familiar yet exotic flavor profile. If your chef is not ready to crack open a fresh jackfruit, check out providers such as The Jackfruit Companyand Karana for pre-packaged options. All of the options listed above are both gluten-free and soy-free and are guaranteed to delight any taco-lover.

Curries: Offer curries with tofu or chickpeas as the protein instead of meat. A coconut curry with tofu, sweet potatoes, and spinach can be both hearty and comforting. Hodo Foods is a leader in providing high-quality tofu.

Wraps and Sandwiches: Introduce wraps or sandwiches with fillings like falafel, hummus, and grilled vegetables. A Mediterranean wrap with falafel, tahini sauce, cucumber, and tomatoes offers a refreshing taste. Hodo Foods also provides a line of dips/sauces that can add extra zest to your recipe. Or add a spread of Bitchin’ Sauce (hint: the Chipotle flavor never fails to delight tastebuds!)

Packaging Innovations

Ensuring that plant-based meals remain fresh and appealing upon delivery is crucial. Invest in high-quality, sustainable packaging solutions that maintain the temperature and texture of food. Compostable containers and biodegradable cutlery can reinforce the eco-friendly message of your plant-based menu.

Marketing Strategies

Highlight Health Benefits: Market these dishes by emphasizing their health benefits, such as being lower in calories or rich in nutrients.

Eco-Friendly Appeal: Communicate the environmental advantages of choosing plant-based options, such as reduced carbon footprint and animal welfare.

Visual Appeal: Use high-quality images in online menus and social media to showcase the vibrant, appealing nature of plant-based dishes.

Customer Testimonials: Share reviews and testimonials from customers who have enjoyed the plant-based options.

Incorporating these plant-based alternatives into your takeout and delivery menu can set your service apart in a competitive market, meet customer demand for healthier options, and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. This strategic approach not only caters to current market trends but also positions your business for future growth in the evolving foodservice industry.