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Dirt Candy
The Brassica Plate at New York City's Dirt Candy shows how visually appetizing a plant-forward meal can be.

Yours Truly: 5 Reasons Plant-Based is Trending

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If you’re still not convinced that plant-based options deserve at least a place—if not a prominent one—on your menu, here are five reasons that might convince you.
By Laura D'Alessandro February 2019 Blog

Everyone knows by now that plant-based is a trend. At FSR it feels like we’ve examined it from all angles, including how and why. And it’s not just us who think so—after all, we’ve been asking the experts all along.

According to Menus of Change, a joint initiative from The Culinary Institute of America and The Harvard School of Public Health, plant-forward menu choices are transforming palates and spurring the next generation of culinary innovation. But if you’re still not convinced that plant-based options deserve at least a place—if not a prominent one—on your menu, here are five reasons that might convince you.

  1. Cost
    It’s not rocket science or even complicated math. Plants are less expensive than meat. As the chef Neal Harden at the Jean-Georges plant-based concept abcV told us, plants are monetarily low-cost but can add to the prep time, depending on what’s on the menu.
  2. Sustainability
    Restaurants these days are trying to hit benchmarks with more than just bottom lines. More plants on the menu can mean more sustainability goals are met, especially if those plants are locally sourced. Verdical.IO is a product FSR featured in the tech section of its 2019 Buyer’s Guide that allows restaurants to source farm to plate right inside the restaurant.
  3. Profit
    A couple of factors are making plant-based menu items profitable these days. The lower costs help, but so does customer demand. People are willing to pay for a plant-based menu item, and that means a restaurateur can reap more money from the sale.
  4. Demand
    Consumers have one of the same goals as restaurateurs—they want to live more sustainable lives. Making plant-based menu choices contributes to that. Their overall interest in their health and a vegetarian diet’s association with that is also driving demand.
  5. Beauty
    There is certainly something beautiful about a perfectly seared steak, but the vibrant hues of a diversely curated plant-based menu item can’t be ignored. Using more plants provides an opportunity visually wow guests. Fully enjoying a meal involves all the senses, not just taste. Looks count too, so try something vibrant from your farmer vendors.