This article was provided by our partners at General Mills.
What’s one of the biggest trends sprouting on menus right now? Plants!
The number of Americans eating plant-forward diets is only expected to grow and influence menus for years to come. In fact, nearly 30 percent of consumers have ordered plant-based items at restaurants, according to Cleveland Research Company, and the NPD Group reports one in five consumers say they want to increase their consumption of plant-based foods.
Beyond serving the needs of vegetarians and vegans, plant-based dishes and the use of plant-based ingredients can accommodate guests with dairy intolerance and other dietary restrictions.
“You could say the demand for plant-based menu items is truly flourishing,” said Chef Jessie Kordosky with General Mills Foodservice. “This gives operators an opportunity to look to plants to create dishes that appeal to a variety of people with diverse tastes and dietary preferences.”
Plants: A Growing Opportunity
Whether it’s reducing the impact on the environment or offering healthier, more nutrient-dense foods, there are many benefits to serving plant-based dishes. Equally important is creating flavorful and distinctive dishes that have universal appeal.
Kordosky adds that’s where access to quality, plant-based ingredients, such as new meat and dairy alternatives, comes in, playing a key role in providing the foundation for endless creativity when it comes to greening up a menu.
For instance, General Mills recently introduced a new coconut-based yogurt alternative that is a versatile, dairy-free option for any recipe where yogurt is used. Yoplait ParfaitPro Dairy Free Vanilla is the first of its kind in a bulk bag format, resulting in less prep time, with less labor, mess and waste when making items such as smoothies or parfaits. Its smooth texture and creamy, coconut base also make it an ideal ingredient for a variety of cold and hot applications from entrées to soups.
“We wanted to give operators a product to help them meet demand for more plant-based offerings in a convenient format that allows them to save time, space and waste,” Kordosky said.
She adds that her team has created several recipes using the new yogurt alternative, such as dairy-free buffalo coconut pulled chicken lettuce wraps, dairy-free pancakes and waffles, dairy-free coconut panna cotta, dairy-free coconut cream pie, vegan ranch dressing and more.
To access the complete recipe collection and get more information on Yoplait ParfaitPro Dairy Free Vanilla as well as marketing tools to promote the new offering (e.g., point-of-sale materials, parfait lid stickers and social media images), foodservice operations may contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative or visit www.generalmillscf.com/dairy-free.