How Rich's Is Helping Foodservice Professionals Create Plant-Based Menu Items

“The big key point for operators… is focus on flavor, focus on that authentic experience, and people will want to eat your plant-based menu item because it’s delicious,” says Julie Altobello, Senior Marketing Manager of Health and Authenticity at Rich Products Corporation.

As Foodable Labs has identified in the past, there is a 78.4 percent increase in the past 18 months of consumer discussion around plant-based menus. On this episode of The Barron Report, host Paul Barron sits down with Julie Altobello to explore this topic further and discuss plant-based trends, sectors driving trend growth, and how the plant-based trend looks like across different age cohorts.

Plant-Based Diet by Demographic

According to Altobello, the trend is being fueled by all demographics, but for different reasons.

Gen Z

  • Activism. “They are eating more plant-based diets because of the positive impact it has on the environment. They can reduce their carbon footprint and the impact on animal welfare in general,” says Altobello.


  • Functional Health Benefits. “We’re seeing [they] are turning to plant-based as a way to increase their functional health,” says Altobello. “A lot of athletes are turning to plant-based diets to increase their performance, to do better at the gym, to give themselves an edge…”


  • Long-term Health Support. “They are really concerned with the impact of plant-based foods on their heart health, cardiovascular...,” says Altobello. “They are looking at the science around how plant-based diets support long-term healthier lives and actually combat many degenerative diseases.”

Barron attributes a lot of the plant-based trends to the evolution of the fast casual restaurant industry.

So, what solutions exist for restaurant operators who are trying to offer plant-based menu items to meet consumer demand? Altobello says it’s important to first understand the drivers that are motivating consumers to go the plant-based route in order to meet the requirements for each product solution.

Listen to the podcast to learn about some of the solutions Rich's offers to help chefs and foodservice professionals stay ahead of demand!

Show Notes:

  • 10:14 - Who’s eating plant-based options?
  • 11:16 - Trending Plant-Based Menu Items
  • 13:24 - Motives By Demographic
  • 20:20 - Menu Solution: Plant-Based Cooking Cream
  • 21:06 - Menu Solution: Broccoli Cheddar, Cauliflower Pizza Crust