American food service company Aramark has launched its first dedicated plant-forward dining concept, The Twisted Beet.
The Twisted Beet comfort food menu emphasises vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, but still offers a proportionately small quantity of animal protein, putting a healthy spin on dishes such as meatball subs and mac and cheese.
The menu includes Signature Plates; Sides; Create Your Own, where customer can choose a base, protein, two sides and a selection of sauces and toppings; and Dessert and Beverage.
Research by Aramark revealed that 60% of consumers are keen on reducing their meat intake and 62% want to eat more vegetables.
In response, Aramark has expanded its menu selections to provide the choices that meet individual preferences.
The company launched the plant-forward initiative as part of its Healthy for Life 20 by 20 collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA).
The collaboration has resulted in the introduction of new recipes and aligned with existing efforts to accelerate climate-healthy menus.
Currently, around 30% of the main dishes served by the company across its college and university dining, hospital café and workplace locations are vegetarian.
Aramark has added an icon so that customers can easily identify plant-forward menu items. It is also providing consumers with onsite digital communications, posters and social media content to build awareness about plant-forward eating.
Aramark product development and menu innovation lead Heidi Hogan said: “While our menu-development process has always had a focus on health and wellness, plant-forward is now a key focus for Aramark.
“No matter where consumers fall on the spectrum of trying plant-forward foods, we strive to provide a range of high-quality and delicious options, to make it easier for them to take a plant-forward adventure.
“The Twisted Beet introduces hearty, plant-forward takes on familiar favorites that also indulge comfort food cravings.”