KANSAS CITY — Restaurant operators are partnering with consumer packaged goods companies to offer more plant-based options on menus.
Sandwich chain Blimpie is offering a meatless twist on its meatball parmigiana sub for a limited time. The sandwich has Gardein plant-based meatballs smothered in zesty marinara sauce and melted provolone cheese sprinkled with Parmesan. The Gardein brand is owned by Conagra Brands.
“Guests have been looking for a plant-based option, and we set out to create a sub that could fill their cravings,” said Sam Carity, senior national marketing manager for Kahala Brands, parent company of Blimpie. “Our new sub delivers the same mouthwatering taste of our classic Meatball Parmigiana, now as a vegetarian option.”
Fast-casual chain Pokeworks has partnered with OmniFoods, maker of the OmniPork plant-based pork-style protein, to introduce the Omni Luncheon Musubi at select locations. The protein, made with soy, peas, shiitake mushrooms and rice, is stacked on sushi rice and wrapped with a band of dried seaweed.
“This partnership with OmniFoods is very exciting as we continue to find more plant-based alternatives that can be added to our customers’ favorite bowls at Pokeworks,” said Steve Heeley, chief executive officer of Pokeworks. “With sustainability as one of our core values, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to meet consumer demand that are both good for the planet and provide healthy options for mindful consumers. We look forward to working with OmniFoods to help showcase their premium, preferred alternative to our traditional Garlic Spam Musubi.”
Wienerschnitzel teamed with Greenleaf Foods, a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, to serve the Field Roast Plant-Based Signature Stadium Dog at its restaurants nationwide following a successful market test. The item may be served three different ways: backyard, barbecue and Chicago-style.
“Few foods stir passion like hot dogs, and we’re proud to satisfy that all-American hot dog craving for plant-based consumers nationwide through our continued partnership with Wienerschnitzel,” said Dan Curtin, president of Greenleaf Foods. “It’s an honor to partner with such a popular and iconic restaurant chain where hot dogs aren’t just an option — they’re the menu’s focus.”
Greenleaf Foods also collaborated with the Donatos pizza chain on two new pizzas topped with Field Roast Plant-Based Pepperoni, formulated with pea protein.
“We’ve seen great momentum with our Field Roast Plant-Based Pepperoni in the foodservice sector and are excited to increase its accessibility through our partnership with Donatos,” Mr. Curtin said. “Our Plant-Based Pepperoni offers the same protein per serving as traditional pepperoni and an authentic, bold taste that is sure to impress plant-based and plant-based curious consumers alike.”