1. Plant-Based Meats in Expanded Formats and Clean Label
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have been reshaping the quick-service restaurant industry with their expansion of plant-based meats into major chains such as Burger King, White Castle, Qdoba, Little Caesars, KFC, Subway, and Dunkin.’ This shift signals the end of restaurants serving plant-based meats in burger form only. Now consumers can have their plant-based meats on pizzas and breakfast sandwiches, in burritos and subs, and even as a bucket of fried chicken-style nuggets.
As this trend heats up, consumers will increasingly expect plant-based options for all of their favorite dishes at casual, family, and upscale restaurants, as well—from spaghetti with meatballs to steak. Since consumers look to plant-based meats as a healthier option, demand for clean label meatless meat is also expected to rise. A clean label meatless meat is one with a short list of simple ingredients—a healthy bonus that restaurants can call out on their menus.
2. Naturally Blue and Purple Foods and Beverages
Clean label shows up more than once in this year’s food service trends. This time it's about beverages and foods in brilliant hues of blue and purple, all done naturally. Like we saw with butterfly pea tea, spirulina is now trending as an ingredient that can add a vibrant, eye-catching blue color to beverages and desserts.