Plant Based Menu Trend On The Rise in North America

In the last few years, plant-based diets have been on the rise. In a recent study conducted by market research firm Mintel, it was found that in North America alone, there has been an increase of over 100% in people choosing to consume more plant-based foods. 

As of November 20
th, the term “plant-based’ was found on 16,490 menus in North America. While many menus may have “plant based” items offered and not defined as “plant based” on menus, the growth in the term “plant based” in restaurants in North America shows no slowing down.

Toronto, Los Angeles and New York metro areas led the charge as the three markets had the most numerous mentions of “plant based” available on menus, according to data collected by Brizo FoodMetrics.

plant based sushi

With this new trend taking hold across various food segments, restaurants and other foodservice providers are scrambling to keep up with demanding consumers who want more meatless options on their menus. An increasing number of restaurants are catering to the growing number of vegans, vegetarians and “flexitarians.” A report release in August by Bloomberg Intelligence suggests that global retails sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives may reach $126 billion by 2030, up from $29.4 billion in 2020.

The growth in “plant based” appearing on menus in the U.S. and Canada is not only driven by small vegetarian or vegan restaurants, chain restaurants are on board the plant train.

A&W Canada, Carl’s Junior, Del Taco, Mod Pizza and KFC are the top chains offering “plant based” on menus. Within chain restaurants, the recent lift has been largely driven by plant based meats Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.

Of the 16,490 restaurants that had “plant based” on menus, 10,452 were on chain location menus (five or more establishments) with independent locations making up 6,038. 

👉 For the list of restaurants in Chicago with “plant based” items on their menus, please click here.

Brizo FoodMetrics tracks every menu item on more than 600,000 menus in North America and found the following menu trends related to plant based:
  • Tofu was found on 57,735 menus in North America
  • Chickpea was seen on 12,285 menus
  • Quinoa was on 31,929 North American menus
  • Soy based appeared on 2,019 menus
plant based dish

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