As the chicken sandwich wars continue to reach new heights, it was inevitable that they would dovetail with another major foodservice trend: plant-based chicken. Protein alternatives in the category could rise fast in the pecking order of chicken sandwiches, given high demand for foods that are both flavorful and functional—a combination that COVID-19 has brought to the front burner of foodservice.
The pandemic deprived the food and beverage industry of nearly $240 billion in sales in 20201—but it couldn’t bring breakfast down—at least, not completely.
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As foodservice operators continue to expand their dining capacity and hours, the competition for customers could get fierce. An enticing dessert menu that features intriguing flavors could be the ideal sweet solution to attract hungry patrons.
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Now that the pandemic has made well-being a top-of-mind concern for consumers, foodservice is sharpening its focus on nutrition and the functional benefits of better-for-you food options.
Given the heightened awareness of the importance of better-for-you and functional food options, it makes sense that demand for protein alternatives would grow exponentially during the pandemic.
As we reported in our 2021 Foodservice Trends: A Look at the Road Ahead report, 78% of consumers would like restaurants to menu more food and beverages with functional benefits.1 The consumer appetite for functional foods is robust, with 61% of those surveyed saying they're either extremely or very interested in them.1