The number of people eating strictly plant-based has skyrocketed in Australia, with people turning their nose up to meat for a variety of different reasons. In fact, The New Daily reports that Australia is the second-most popular nation in the world for veganism (2020), trailing only the UK.
For hospitality businesses this shift in the market is important to note. No longer should you treat plant-based menu items as an afterthought, but instead be seeking opportunities to reach this market.
So, what do we know about this market? Well, according to a consumer insights paper commissioned by Food Frontier & Life Health Foods, the number one reason that Australians are eating less meat is simply for better health. Followed by concerns for the environment, animal welfare, cost, and increased availability of plant-based options.
So, with all of this in mind, we’ve put together a list of meat alternatives that this new wave of plant-based diners will love:
Homemade bean-based patties & fritters
A tasty homemade veggie burger is an easy way to win over plant-based diners, especially if you’re making it yourself, but the success is in getting the patty right. Butter beans, cannellini beans and red kidney beans make for a great base due to their versatility and flavour. Click here for our butter bean burger recipe to help get you inspired!
Lentils for mince
If you’re cooking something like pie or curry, lentils make for an awesome substitute to mince. As well as having a similar texture, lentils are naturally low in fat making for a healthier meal.
Although the fake meat industry is booming, there are some who argue how healthy these products really are. Using eggplant instead of fake chicken is a great way to get a veggie parma on your menu just in time for parma night!
One of the biggest winners of the plant-based revolution is the humble jackfruit! The tropical tree fruit has grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years due to its uncanny ability to resemble pulled meats. Lather your jackfruit up in BBQ sauce and slowly cook for a perfect burger filler!
Mushroom across the board
Mushrooms are a vegetarian’s best friend as they are super versatile. Typically, mushrooms are great for things like veggie stir fry or as a tasty pizza topping. However, they can be used for much more! How about soaking your mushrooms in a smoky, umami-rich sauce and using it as a substitute for bacon!
Beetroot is yet another vegetable with incredible health benefits, and it’s awesome to cook with for its vibrant purple colouring. It’s another awesome addition to burgers, but it also can be made into a vegan carpaccio for those that are up to the challenge.
These are just a few ideas to help get you started in targeting the plant-based market. But we’re sure that the creativity of a chef could uncover so much more! So why not check out our wide variety of vegetables and legumes and come up with something new? Be sure to let us know what you’re making for your chance to feature on the Riviana Foodservice Facebook page!