From Burger King to Panda Express, here’s who takes the herbal bandwagon
The plant-based food market is heating up in the United States and companies are looking to capitalize on it.
This week, Panda Express announced plans to team up with Beyond Meat (BYND) to bring Beyond the Original Orange Chicken to select locations across the country. Beyond Meat unveiled its new plant-based chicken offerings a week before this launch, with its key ingredient being a bean.
The company is just the latest in a growing number of restaurant chains to embrace the meatless revolution. In a statement, Panda Express boasted of being the first national Asian restaurant to put Beyond on its menu.
Known for its staples like its original Orange Chicken, Panda Express said it has “significant brand equity in this Chinese American comfort food,” but is ready to take the next step by offering herbal alternatives. And with food companies riding a wave of health-conscious alternatives, Panda clearly hopes to attract young first-time diners as well.
“Creating a new take on a favorite classic is a great and accessible way to introduce plant proteins to our guests, and maybe even attract a new audience for Panda,” the company said this week.
And other companies are looking to participate in this rapidly growing plant and vegan protein market, where growth is up 227% from a year ago, according to the intelligence platform. Datas.
Over the past two years, chains like KFC, Burger King, Starbucks (SBUX), Dunkin ‘Donuts, and Shake Shack have all made room on their menus for alternative meat options – although the latter has played down. the prospect of partnering with Beyond. Meat.
In June, tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian’s fund Seven Seven Six led a $ 50 million Series B for plant-based chicken company SIMULATE. Founder and CEO Ben Pasternak told Yahoo Finance he intends to use the latest round of funding to hire top talent, including food, materials and flavor scientists and engineers, before to move beyond direct-to-consumer and retail sales. More recently, the company introduced the Plant Based Chicken Patty DISCS.
Powerful consumer goods company Kellogg’s (K) hopes to capture a share of this market with the recent introduction of Incogmeato Chik’n Tenders. According to the company, the product “captures the feel of torn chicken fillets with technology that creates fibers to mimic the texture of real chicken.”
Pinky Cole, owner of Slutty Vegan in Atlanta, has been in the vegan market for seven years, but believes demand for plant-based meat will explode “over the next 10 years,” she said in a commentary. recent interview with Yahoo Finance. .
Shake Shack (SHAK) recently hired Cole to create a vegan menu item for their “Now in Service” campaign, which aims to showcase local chefs across the country to showcase time-limited menu innovations.
“This will just show you that this [vegan options] That’s what people ask for, so you have to meet the demand, ”Cole said in May, adding that“ it shows you that people are becoming more aware ”of what they’re eating.