New research reveals a whopping 48.8 percent of restaurants in the United States currently serve plant-based dishes.
Research by Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and Menu Trends found 48.8 percent of eateries in the country currently serve vegan food.
This is a whopping 62 percent increase since 2012, and 33 percent growth from 2018.
The report also highlights how fast casual operators are most likely to offer plant-based options (64.7 percent), with fine dining the least likely (31.6 percent).
Plant-based dishes on the rise?
These stats are likely to jump in the coming months, with nearly 30 percent of US operators planning to add more meat-alternatives to their menu this year.
PBFA states top plant-based dishes tend to be ‘staple entrées and appetizers’ such as vegan burgers and salads.
“Comfort foods and new bar classics like burgers, wings, and grilled cheese are among the fastest growing plant-based dishes at restaurants,” the report concludes.
Research has revealed that 48.8 percent of eateries in the US currently serve vegan food, demonstrating a growth of 33 percent growth from 2018. Image credit: Hinterhaus Productions via Getty Images
‘The arm of innovation’
According to VegNews, PBFA’s Hannah Lopez described plant-based foods as ‘the arm of innovation for food service operators and a key opportunity to engage a new segment of consumers’.
She added: “This research lays the foundation for how plant-based foods can be implemented to optimize overall brand strategy of food service establishments.”
Barriers to vegan food
Despite the surge in vegan offerings, some consumers are still put off from ordering meat-free dishes when dining.
The report lists unsatisfaction with the ‘taste of the meal’, the price, and lack of satiation as the top three factors for people avoiding plant-based dishes.
However, as meat analogues continue to gain popularity, eateries are welcoming more innovative plant-based offerings to their menu.
Plant-based meat burgers alone are expected to double their penetration in the next four years, surpassing veggie burgers in 2025.
The US isn’t the only country enjoying a boom in plant-based eating. Find the best places for vegan food with our guide to the UK’s best vegan restaurants.
Featured image credit: ofiko14 via Getty Images