Why Is Alt-Protein Getting So Popular?
What Is Alt-Protein?
Lately, more and more customers are seeking better alternatives to traditional meals. From gluten-free to vegetarianism, healthy trends are on the rise. Especially given the global pandemic, consumers are more concerned about their physical well-being and taking care to nourish their bodies well. That’s part of the reason that meat alternatives, and particularly alt-protein, have been on the rise.
Thanks to technology, plenty of faux meat tastes pretty real. Most alternative protein products are plant-based, and that’s certainly what gets the most attention from the general public. Yet another option has come: A fungi-based choice called mycoprotein. It’s single-celled and naturally occurring, and also boasts these benefits:
- High fiber
- Low sodium
- Nine amino acids
- More eco-friendly than other vegan meat substitutes
- Same texture as real meat
Since customers now have more alt-protein options to choose from (the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are both commercialized nationwide), these distinctions have effectively caught the eye of many consumers.
The Rise of Alt-Protein
If the newfound popularity of mycoprotein remains in doubt, then consider that Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Al Gore are among the investors in an alt-protein startup, Nature’s Fynd. The Chicago-based tech startup has already raised $158M thanks to investments like theirs. The company sells meatless and dairy-free foods, everything from breakfast to dinner.
It’s no wonder that, according to NPD Group, alt-protein sales to restaurants grew by 60% in late spring of 2020. Alt-proteins, whether plant- or fungi-based, are set to become a massive part of the meat market moving forward as people continue to value their health and wellbeing. This shift in consumer preferences is evident in the ongoing creation of new brands. Where there is supply, demand has likely already built up.
Still, the emergence of mycoprotein demonstrates that brands need to set themselves apart from the rest of the alt-protein trend. With more companies on board, competition will get fiercer. It’s not enough to simply deliver a product; what else do you provide? Are you taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint? Partnering with local suppliers? Figure out what sets you apart and then tell guests about the green, healthy steps you’re taking that should entice them to you over competitors.
Better Business Decisions
For restaurants looking to appeal to vegan and vegetarian markets, or simply those who want food that’s good for them, alt-proteins are a great place to start. Whether your restaurant decides on fungi- or plant-based ingredients, adding healthy options appeals to modern consumers.
When it comes to pleasing guests, nothing goes further than customer relationship management tools. Nowadays, smart Point of Sale systems can memorize customer profiles and securely save information. That way, guests have easy access to reorder their favorite meals, and your restaurant can collect crucial data that influences business and marketing decisions.
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