PHILADELPHIA — Aramark Corp. has joined forces with Beyond Meat, Inc. to build out its plant-based menu selections with the company’s meatless burgers, sausages, crumbles and more.
“With more and more consumers looking for plant-based meal options, Aramark chefs are using (Beyond Meat) products … to provide the choices that meet individual lifestyle and dietary preferences on college campuses, in hospitals and businesses, at schools and in ballparks nationwide,” Aramark said.
Aramark’s present and future dishes featuring Beyond Meat products include bowls, plates, burgers, sausage and brats.
In the bowl category, Aramark is developing a gumbo bowl for hospital patient menus using Beyond Sausage. The gumbo bowl will be part of its patient bowl pilot program.
The Twisted Beet, Aramark’s new plant-forward comfort food dining concept, serves a range of plant-based plates. The concept’s Creole Beyond Sausage Plate, a New Orleans-inspired dish, features “dirty grains” and greens topped with Beyond Sausage.
Aramark continues to develop Beyond Burger concepts for sports stadiums, including a Caribbean-inspired burger topped with black beans, avocado, pineapple and sriracha. The burger will be served at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Also aimed at sports fans, Aramark has created a range of sausages and brats featuring Beyond Meat to be served at baseball stadiums. At Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, Aramark offers a Beyond Sausage topped with fried shallots, and a Beyond Sausage Brat Original is available at a dedicated vegan stand at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y.
“The trick for us is to develop and offer unique meatless options that taste great and appeal to consumers who might want to try something new and those who follow plant-forward diets,” said Heidi Hogan, vice-president of product development and culinary innovation at Aramark. “Early on, we understood that consumer preferences were driving a need for quality plant-forward offerings, and our culinary team has been working with a broad range of plant-based products to create more enticing menu choices.”
In addition to Beyond Meat, Aramark has partnered with other plant-based food companies, such as Just and Ocean Hugger Foods Inc. In October 2018, Aramark teamed with Just to bring the plant-based Just Egg to corporate, health care and higher education cafes. In March 2018, Aramark joined forces with Ocean Hugger Foods to launch a plant-based tuna alternative in corporate and higher education dining cafes.
Aramark’s partnerships with Beyond Meat, Just and Ocean Hugger Foods plays into the company’s plant-forward initiative launched in July 2018. As part of the effort, Aramark committed to elevating the role of healthy ingredients on its menus and developing recipes that lower greenhouse gas emissions. Thus far, Aramark has introduced more than 200 new plant-based recipes, and 30% of its menu offerings are now vegan or vegetarian. Additionally, the company has achieved a 5% average reduction in the amount of red meat in its recipes and has trained more than 1,200 chefs in plant-based culinary innovation workshops.