Plant-based menus driving consumer enthusiasm

A report released this week has claimed that the food service industry is succeeding at driving enthusiasm for plant-based menus over animal-based food.

The 2017 Menus of Change Annual Report concluded that the food service industry is succeeding in 13 of the 16 categories in regards to plant-based menus and the options available to keep up with changing consumer habits.

The report aims to give support and advice to food service industry personnel and suppliers whilst measuring progress with regards to public health and environmental goals within the industry.

It showed the influence of the food industry on consumer habits, in particular, the increase in menus with more plant-based options. Menus of Change describe these menus as “plant-forward” which it concludes is “a style of cooking that emphasises and celebrates — but is not limited to — plant-based foods.”

The report explained: “The idea of plant-forward eating moved from a burgeoning term in the prior year to the default phrase for capturing the rising status of vegetables and plant proteins on American menus.”

“Low-carbon options”

However, the report also highlights the gradual progress being made to move to low carbon options, but insists that a far better response to the pressing issues of climate change need to take place.

Walter Willett, chair of the Menus of Change Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, said: “Dietary improvements over the last decade are already contributing to better health of Americans, and the many positive contributions of the food service industry are impressive.

“However, with the abdication of national leadership in addressing climate change, our efforts to deal with this existential issue must be redoubled. The food sector has a central role to play by creating meals that delight diners and significantly contribute to those efforts.”

Consumers are increasingly making the connection between the issues surrounding climate change and the food on their plates.

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