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Plant-Based Fast Casual Chain Debuts
Orlando-based HUMBL International (HUMBL) launched its namesake brand at its flagship Florida location, HUMBL at Windermere Village at 5845 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Windermere, Fla. HUMBL is the first plant-based fast-casual restaurant brand in the region and has two more Central Florida locations in the local pipeline and plans for growing nationally in the near future.
HUMBL features the world-renowned plant-based cuisine of celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, who serves as the brand’s Chief Culinary Officer. LA-based Chef Kenney is also a two-time James Beard Award nominee, winner of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef award and two-time Veg News Chef of The Year. The HUMBL menu extends Kenney’s focus on delivering the highest quality and freshest plant-based cuisine to the rapidly expanding fast-casual restaurant segment.
“This is such an exciting time for me personally and professionally. My desire for a healthier lifestyle led me to explore plant-based eating. In the process I recognized a major opportunity to bring familiar, delicious and convenient plant-based food to our communities,” explained Paul Mascia, HUMBL’s CEO. “We have a very experienced and talented executive team that has put in countless hours to launch the brand and position it to grow fast. Our menu is exclusive to HUMBL and crafted by our Co-Founder and Chief Culinary Officer, Chef Matthew Kenney. HUMBL also exists to make an impact. Giving back generously to our communities is a key component of our brand experience,” continued Mascia.
Much of the produce on the HUMBL menu will come from a partnership with The Villages Grown – a farm to table supplier located in the Villages, 40 miles north of Orlando that grows nutrient dense products, then harvests and delivers them to HUMBL locations for immediate use.
“Though I have restaurants around the world, HUMBL represents a tremendous opportunity for me to share my love for delicious and nutritious plant-based cuisine with more people by recreating many of my finest dishes for the fast-casual customer,” said Chef Matthew Kenney, HUMBL’s Chief Culinary Officer. “There’s nothing better than using the freshest and most nutrient rich ingredients which we will receive from The Villages Grown to recreate those classic familiar dishes – the burger, pizza, bowls, ice-cream and more. As a chef, I’m grateful that my recipes and food can be enjoyed by others and encourage them towards a healthier lifestyle along the way. HUMBL embodies that mission,” continued Chef Kenney.
The company is as focused on serving the community as it is on serving great food. Its One-for-One program provides a meal to a hungry child for every meal purchased. Each location is estimated to provide 70,000 meals a year. Also, HUMBL purchases its employee uniforms and merchandise from an organization that rescues and restores human trafficking survivors. HUMBL held its first 5K run recently as the brand encourages people to live a “Life Well Fed.”
Baskin-Robbins Goes Plant-Based
Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, is dipping into the plant-based dessert category with the launch of two new mouth-watering non-dairy flavors. Both Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Non-Dairy Chocolate Extreme will be available for ice cream fans in-store beginning August 1.
The two non-dairy – yet flavor-full – menu items are vegan* takes on classic fan-favorites. Made with a base blend of coconut oil and almond butter, the result is a dessert so rich and indulgent, you won’t be able to tell that it’s not the full-dairy version:
- Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is made with cookie dough pieces, chocolate chunks and a chocolate ribbon.
- Non-Dairy Chocolate Extreme contains chocolate chunks and a chocolate ribbon, and is also gluten conscious.**
Both flavors contain no artificial dyes, which have been absent from all Baskin-Robbins ice cream since 2017 as part of Baskin-Robbins’ and Dunkin’ Brands’ commitment to serving high-quality menu items. The Non-Dairy flavors are also free from preservatives, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and are Kosher.
“The Baskin-Robbins culinary team has been hard at work on our non-dairy flavors for over two years. It was important for us to take the time to get it right,” said Jeanne Bolger, Director of Research and Development, Baskin-Robbins. “Both flavors are so smooth and indulgent, and the final product delivers the incredible quality that our customers have come to expect from any Baskin-Robbins ice cream. We’re very proud of the result.”
With plant-based food sales increasing in double-digits across the country, Baskin-Robbins embraced the opportunity to expand their ice cream portfolio to non-dairy indulgences.
“We’re excited to expand our ice cream portfolio into the vegan space and offer our guests increased options, especially with such high consumer demand for a product like this,” said Carol Austin, Vice President of Marketing for Baskin-Robbins.
Plant-Based Pizza Pizza
Greenleaf Foods, SPC, owner of Field Roast Grain Meat Co™ (“Field Roast”), the original maker of artisan plant-based meats and cheeses and a pioneer in the plant-based industry since 1997, today announced its partnership with Canadian pizza chain and quick-serve restaurant leader, Pizza Pizza. This partnership brings Pizza Pizza’s first-ever plant-based pizza to the menu at all restaurants across Canada.
The new ‘Super Plant Pizza’ will feature Field Roast’s Mexican Chipotle Sausage as a crumble. The artisanal plant-based sausage is made from grains, smoked Chipotle peppers, sweet onions, fresh-chopped garlic, apple cider vinegar, cumin seed, oregano and Chili de Arbol, creating bold flavor with a kick. The Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage—along with other Field Roast plant-based meat and cheese products—is available in retail stores and natural food stores across Canada.
To complement the Field Roast crumble, the ‘Super Plant Pizza’ will also feature homestyle Italian tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and is topped with plant-based pepperoni. For an entirely vegan experience, consumers are also able to order the pizza with dairy-free vegan cheeze. The new ‘Super Plant Pizza’ recipe is a delicious combination of flavors and is available on any crust, including Pizza Pizza’s newest innovation, Cauliflower Crust.
“When dining out, plant-based options can seem less exciting, but we’re quickly changing that experience,” said Dan Curtin, President of Greenleaf Foods, SPC. “Now Pizza Pizza consumers don’t have to sacrifice taste because we’re bringing innovative and delicious plant-based options to the menu. We are always looking for ways to introduce more people to plant-based eating. Teaming up with Pizza Pizza will allow us to deliver our high-quality, artisanal products in new ways.”
The Field Roast brand offers plant-based meat and cheese that pay homage to regionally-beloved spices and ingredients, incorporating big, bold flavors that create a complex, layered taste experience. The brand makes it its mission to use only the finest quality, all-natural, whole food ingredients such as grains, fresh-cut vegetables, herbs and legumes. All Field Roast® products are vegan and do not contain any animal ingredients.
Del Taco’s Beyond Burritos
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. is now expanding its partnership with Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) to offer the brand’s 100 percent plant-based protein option in two new signature protein-packed burritos, the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito and the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito, at its more than 580 locations across the country.
With the nationwide launch of its Beyond Tacos in April, Del Taco became the first national Mexican fast food chain to add a 100 percent plant-based protein option to its menu. Since then, Del Taco has sold nearly two million Beyond Tacos and Beyond Avocado Tacos, with close to 100,000 hand-sliced avocados used for the Beyond Avocado Taco alone.
“The enthusiasm shown by our fans during the first weeks of our Beyond Meat offerings was undeniable,” said John Cappasola, President and Chief Executive Officer of Del Taco. “To that end, we wanted to reward the passion being shown across social media and in our restaurants by utilizing our uniquely seasoned Beyond Meat recipe in two new protein-packed burritos.”
Utilizing various spices in a proprietary recipe developed in partnership with Beyond Meat, the company’s newest ground-breaking burritos have Del Taco’s signature tastes:**
- Beyond 8 Layer Burrito (Loaded with 27 grams of protein): Del Taco’s seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles layered with slow-cooked beans, tangy guacamole, fresh diced tomatoes, crisp lettuce, hand-grated cheddar cheese, zesty red sauce and cool sour cream, in a warm flour tortilla.
- Epic Beyond Cali Burrito: Del Taco’s seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles combined with its world famous Crinkle-Cut Fries, cool sour cream, tangy guacamole and handmade pico de gallo salsa in a warm, oversized flour tortilla.
Bush’s Best Adds Blended Burger
BUSH’S BEST® added BUSH’S BEST Blended Burger, a plant and beef-based foodservice offering that looks, tastes and cooks like an all-beef burger, but has less fat and fewer calories.1 With BUSH’S BEST quality beans and mushrooms replacing 40 percent of the beef content, the Blended Burger has just four ingredients: beef, BUSH’S BEST Great Northern Beans, mushrooms and salt.
One third of Americans say they are flexitarian, mostly because it allows them to eat healthy without removing the foods they love.2 The BUSH’S BEST Blended Burger has the great flavor and juiciness of a traditional beef burger, with all the benefits of plant-based protein. Pre-formed, frozen 4 oz. raw patties make it easy for operators to give their guests a delicious burger that is gluten, allergen, dairy and soy-free.
Foodservice operators can use the BUSH’S BEST Blended Burger in a classic burger application or can use it as the foundation for more unique menuing ideas. Bibb lettuce takes the place of a traditional bun in the Bunless Greek Burger, a gluten-free option featuring BUSH’S BEST Blended Burger topped with tomato, red onion, yellow bell pepper and the Mediterranean taste of red pepper hummus and feta cheese. Or operators can try the Pimento Cheese Burger, the BUSH’S BEST Blended Burger with red cabbage vinegar slaw, banana peppers and pimento cheese, all in a Hawaiian bun.
BUSH’S BEST Blended Burger is currently only available to foodservice operations.
Plant Power Fast Food Expands
Plant Power Fast Food, a plant-based fast food restaurant chain based in San Diego, CA, top photo, opened its fifth location last week in Long Beach, California. The three-and-a-half-year-old company reported that sales from the Long Beach location on its opening Sunday June 30, were the highest for any of the company’s five locations for one single day in its history.
Chief Operations Officer and Co-CEO Zach Vouga said that “We’re thrilled to be part of this vibrant community and we’re overwhelmed by the warm welcome we’ve been receiving from customers old and new.”
Company President and Co-CEO Mitch Wallis said that their brand was specifically designed to appeal to everyone, not just those on a plant-based diet. “By presenting a fresh, GMO-free, plant-based menu in the familiar fast-food format, we’re able to provide an easy-to-access alternative for those looking for healthier options”. He adds that “The majority of our customers are omnivores who are exploring new food choices”.
In addition, The Plant Power Restaurant Group has announced the next phase of its Series A offering for accredited investors in accordance with Regulation D adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) through MicroVentures. Series A funding will extend through September 2019 with a target amount of $7 mm.
According to Vouga, top line revenues increased 438.4 percent from 2016 through 2018. He believes that this is a reflection of the power of the brand: “We’re seeing that consumers are really excited about a 100% plant-based brand, one with an authentic commitment to health and sustainability and a vision that extends beyond the traditional bottom line.”
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and Co-CEO Jeffrey Harris believes that there is a huge opportunity to bring a plant-based alternative to the U.S. fast-food space: “In the United States, the fast food market exceeded $255 billion in sales in 2018 according to market research companies Statista and IBIS. While traditional fast food restaurants deliver the taste, cost and convenience factor that their customers enjoy, the majority of mainstream brands have failed to adequately address the evolving needs of consumers who are looking for healthier, more humane and environmentally sustainable options.”
Asked about the current news of major fast-food brands adding vegan items to their menu, Harris was positive—“We’re thrilled to see many of the major fast-food brands expand their offerings to include plant-based options.” Harris further adds “The introduction of vegan burgers at some fast food restaurant chains indicates that a significant attitudinal shift is in motion, just as we predicted several years ago when we first began developing our business. That said, we believe that consumers are looking for more than just a couple of vegan options on the menu. We’re excited to be able to offer something radically different to customers who are hungry for real change”
Vegandale Gets Mythology
The team behind Vegandale added “Mythology” (formerly Mythology Diner) in its Queen West location. Boasting a new interior, and menu designed by award winning Chef, Doug McNish, patrons are promised an elevated dining experience perfect for intimate dinners and late night cocktails.
In approaching the new menu for Mythology, McNish said “I wanted to take my years of classical high-end chef training, and use a modern vegan spin to create stand out dishes. The menu is small and focused, which allows the kitchen to pay attention to every detail. On it, you will see influences of French, Mediterranean, Italian, and even Japanese cuisine. Vegan or not, my goal has always been to show people that this style of cuisine has its place in gastronomy, and not only do you not lose or miss out on anything, but rather become enamoured at what can be done with plants.” Some dishes to look forward include a vegan take on the classic charcuterie board, which features mushroom pate and lemon ash cashew cheese, miso glazed tofu served on crispy sushi rice, and chocolate cake with notes of caramel and cumin.
Showcasing myths and truths about veganism, and artwork by local artist Kari Serrao, Mythology guests will be treated to a mix of modern and rustic design in a cozy, dimly lit setting. The lively and intimate 34-seat dining room sets the stage for an elevated dining experience on trendy Queen West.
Flyrite Adds Vegan Greenbelt
It may seem strange for a restaurant that has chicken in its name to offer a large slate of vegan dishes, but in Flyrite Chicken’s case, it makes perfect sense. Flyrite Chicken has remained steadfastly dedicated to creating a community table where everyone can conveniently enjoy thoughtfully crafted, guilt-free, hormone-free food, so using those same principals to make vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options was a natural consequence.
“We have created vegan and veggie options that can hold their own on a menu rather than just be ‘trendy additions,’” says Dallas Miller, Director of Operations for Flyrite Chicken. “We just introduced The Greenbelt sandwich to complement our great vegan sides and the reception has been incredible. We had people trying to order The Greenbelt before we even officially introduced it on the menu; they are constantly asking for more vegan dishes.”
The anticipation for The Greenbelt was fueled by a naming contest hosted by @ATXVegans which resulted in 300+ entries. The Flyrite team narrowed it down to two names and over 450 people voted across all platforms.
The Greenbelt sandwich is made of a crispy vegan multi-grain patty served on a vegan bun with homemade Flyrite pickles, vegan mayo, vegan cheese, crispy onion strings, lettuce, tomato and Flyrite’s homemade spicy vegan BBQ sauce. The patty can also be added to any salad.
Other vegan offerings—all that are also gluten-free—include:
Veggie Wrap (GF) (V) – Tempura fried cauliflower rolled in a rice paper wrap with lettuce, kale slaw and fresh herb mix. Served chilled with choice of sauce
Fries (GF) (V) – Skin-on Yukon potatoes
Tots (GF) (V) – Made with Yukon potatoes
Kale Slaw (GF) (V) – Blend of kale, red and green cabbage, carrots, green onion, tossed in a rice wine vinaigrette
Fruit Cup (GF) (V) – Seasonal blend of fresh fruit garnished with fresh mint
Other gluten-free and dairy-free dishes available
“The many comments we hear mirror a recent study that shows the importance of flavor is just as important—if not more important—than the environmental/ethical implications of veganism,” Miller adds. “Our customers are so pleased we offer dishes that look and taste delicious. With a quarter of 25- to 34-year old Americans declaring to be vegan or vegetarians, it is not surprising that we get an outpouring of thanks for our dishes, and lots of support when we post about our vegan dishes.”
Interstate Goes Beyond
As consumers are increasingly changing their diets to plant-based foods, Interstate Hotels & Resorts – a global leader in third-party hotel and resort management – is going beyond traditional menus at the company’s hotels and restaurants this summer through a partnership with Beyond Meat® (NASDAQ: BYND) and their famous Beyond BurgerTM. Through October 31, 2019, Interstate’s restaurant and banquet menus will feature recipes using the Beyond Burger, a plant-based take on the perfect summer meal. With a mission to create the Future of Protein®, Beyond has designed a revolutionary plant-based burger to have the meaty taste, texture and versatility consumers love about ground beef, but with the added health and sustainability benefits of plant-based meat.
With 7.3 million people in the U.S. alone following a vegetarian-based diet, of which 1 million are vegan, Interstate wanted to reach all guests with menu options that appeal to vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat-eaters by offering more impressive plant-forward entrees that still deliver all the flavor, aroma and beefiness of traditional burgers.
“With the growing popularity of plant-based diets, we set out to find a plant-based burger that people who enjoy meat would love,” said Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ SVP of Food and Beverage, Fernando Salazar. “We found that the Beyond Burger is just that – a product that lets our guests substitute ground beef burgers for plant-based Beyond Burgers, without sacrificing flavor or taste.”
Interstate’s hotels and resorts in the U.S. will carry the 100-percent plant-based Beyond Burger which contains no GMOs, soy or gluten across lunch, dinner and catering menus, with their own take on recipes using the plant-based meat. Just as no two restaurant menus are alike, no two Beyond menu items will be alike across the high-end portfolio. From enchiladas to meatballs and truffle mac and cheese burgers, there are no boundaries when it comes to this plant-based addition.
Top 10 All-American Vegan Hot Dogs of 2019
PETA has selected the Top 10 All-American Vegan Hot Dogs of 2019, and the winners range from Nosh Pit Detroit’s Coney Carrot Dog to the vegan wieners dished up by the 13-year-old founder of Mason’s Super Dogs in Atlanta.
“Meaty hot dogs are getting their buns kicked by tasty vegan creations that are going down a treat all over the U.S.,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “All the wieners on PETA’s national top 10 list prove that caring about animals, your arteries, and the planet makes for good eating.”
In addition to the dogs at Nosh Pit and Mason’s, the other winners are the Crispy Cowboy at Phyto’s Vegan Eats in Las Vegas; the Banh Mi Dog from Fauxmaha Hot Dogs in Omaha, Nebraska; the Wheat Street Chili Dog at Wheat Street Dogs in Wichita, Kansas; the Hang Ten at Onion Maiden in Pittsburgh; the Yo Soy Dog at Nah Dogs in St. Petersburg, Florida; the Spicy Chipotle Dog at Dat Dog in New Orleans; the Vegan Chicago Dog at Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace in Columbus, Ohio; and the Hillbilly Chili Dawgs at Dixie Dharma in Orlando, Florida. And of course, lots of vegan hot dog brands are widely available at grocery stores across the country.
UK’s Top 10 Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Cities
With a peaking interest in reducing our impact on the planet, vegan and vegetarian dining has been thriving across the UK in recent years, with the number of meat free restaurants undeniably increasing in cities across Britain. A new study from catering equipment retailer Nisbets surveyed 1,000 UK based adults to explore dietary choices and how frequently they visit a restaurant or café which cater specifically to a vegan and vegetarian diet.
It’s evident that Brits are becoming increasingly conscious of what they eat, as the research found that 6.5 million UK adults are now ditching their meat-based meals and implementing a vegan or vegetarian regime instead.
In a bid to find the UK’s most vegan and vegetarian friendly city for eating out, Nisbets looked at Google search trend data and examined the number of searches around the term ‘vegan and vegetarian restaurants’ for several major cities across the UK, cross referencing the findings with the number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants listed per city, according to Happy Cow.
The UK’s top 10 vegetarian/vegan friendly cities:
Norwich claimed the crown as Britain’s most vegetarian and vegan friendly city, with just 2,094 people in the city per vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Scotland also proved to have a strong reputation as a meatless dining hotspot, with both Edinburgh (2,631) and Glasgow (3,000) laying claim to second and third place in the top ten.
Interestingly, despite 20 percent of Southampton residents sharing that they are either vegan or vegetarian, more than two thirds of those living in the city admit to never visiting vegan and vegetarian restaurants in their local area.
In contrast, 40 percent of Mancunians say they regularly pay a visit to one of the cities many vegan and vegetarian restaurants at least once a week, with Bristol residents not far behind (20 percent).
Despite its title as England’s capital and being renowned for its extensive choice of cuisine when eating out, London didn’t quite make the top ten, claiming stake to the number 11 spot on the list.
Opting for a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle was found to be most popular among 25-34-year-olds, with one in ten proudly identifying as such. However, despite the age difference, it appears that 65+ year olds are not too far behind, with one in ten taking on a flexitarian diet, severely reducing the amount of meat or meat related products they are consuming. The study also found that a plant-based lifestyle is more popular among males than females, as more than twice as many men revealed they prefer this way of life. However, both sexes were found to enjoy this type of cuisine when dining out, as a whopping 5.8 million UK adults choose to visit solely vegan or vegetarian food outlets at least once a week.
The UK’s meat-free favorites when dining out:
- Vegetarian/tofu curry
- Stir fry with Quorn or tofu
- Cauliflower cheese
- Vegan macaroni cheese
- Mushroom risotto
- Spaghetti Bolognese with vegetarian mince
- Vegan nourish bowls
- Vegetarian/vegan burgers
Plant-Based Flour Substitute
Fuji Plant Protein Labs (FPPL), a manufacturer of protein-packed, 100% plant-based, gluten-free ingredients, is launching their Glucodia® / MuPI brand into the commercial foodservice, processed foods, and sports supplement markets.
MuPI/ Glucodia® is a flexible ingredient that can be used in everything from baked goods, gluten-free fitness protein powders, pasta, protein bars, smoothies, mayonnaise-type condiments, egg-protein alternatives, and breakfast products. Shelf life and use are similar to traditional flour for baking except for added health benefits and easier digestibility over traditional wheat.
MuPI / Glucodia® is a plant-based protein isolate made from mung beans, standardized to a total crude protein content of more than 80% (High protein type. MuPI / Glucodia® is a self-affirmed GRAS and is a safe and secure food ingredient.
MuPI /Glucodia® is a natural off-white color flour and is a non-soy, non-GMO, nut-free, mung bean product produced using our chemical-free processing technology. Targeted toward a growing plant-based food category, MuPI/ Glucodia® offers new possibilities for food brands and foodservice searching for a vegan or vegetarian alternative to wheat and soy products.
MuPI / Glucodia® is produced from a historical staple food: the mung bean. History shows us mung bean protein has been consumed in Asian (India/China) for centuries. FPPL’s mission is to deliver this flexible and high nutritional staple food to brands in the USA. FPPL turnkey ingredient line of food ingredients builds new markets for food brands and manufactures. FPPL helps ease the transition into converting existing product lines to plant-based goodness
FPPL has launched lab-tested nutritional recipes on their website for customers to view and review to see how MuPI /Glucodia can be used in their food product lineup.
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences announces the debut of naturally sourced GRINDSTED® PLANT-TEX egg white replacement system for plant-based meat alternatives suitable for anyone wanting to reduce their consumption of meat and able to obtain a vegan claim.
An ever-growing change in consumer’s mindset toward a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle is driving purchases of plant-based foods high in protein with meat-like texture, taste and juiciness.
GRINDSTED® PLANT-TEX MA1201 for Burger Patties boosts protein content for health profiling and improves taste of final product in various aspects – from juiciness and umami flavor, yet salt-reduction to meat-like texture and juice bite in delicious and nutritious burgers and meatballs.
At the same time PLANT-TEX MA1301 for Cooked Sausages provides superior texture with excellent shape maintenance, meat-like juicy or even premium “snappy” bite of cooked sausages regardless of being hot or cold.
Finally, the PLANT-TEX MA1110 for Cold Cuts allows for vegan deli ham with an authentic taste and superior texture.
“We are proud to push the boundaries for high-quality, plant-based solutions for meat alternatives. PLANT-TEX delivers best-in-class results for taste and texture. It will definitely help customers to meet and exceed end-consumer expectations for quality and taste,” said Elisa Vimercati, Regional Product Manager Europe, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.
PLANT-TEX is cholesterol and allergen free and has no ingredients of animal origin. It increases food safety by natural elimination of risk of bird flu or Salmonella.
“With characteristics similar as egg white, ease of use in production by adding directly into the mix, PLANT-TEX makes both formulation and production process easier,” said Linda Yvonne Friis, Global Business Development Manager, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “Today we offer our system only in Europe, Middle East and Africa but in 2020 we are planning to make it available worldwide.”