Pinnacle Foods’ Food Service Group’s plant-based protein brand gardein has collaborated with a non-profit public health organisation Meatless Monday to launch an initiative to promote vegan dining options.

The programme will provide menu ideas and promotional materials to enable restaurants and foodservice operators to meet the demand for plant-based items.

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A study conducted on diners reported that 79% of them consume vegetarian food more than once in a week, according to Pinnacle Foods.

Also, vegetarian options are said to reduce environmental impact, as plant-based protein uses significantly less water and fossil fuel.

gardein products have meat-like texture and taste and can be used as substitutes in place of chicken, beef or fish in recipes.

Pinnacle Foods Food Service vice-president Tom Meyers said: “We are proud to partner with Meatless Monday and offer our customers a way to meet their patrons’ health and wellness needs, help the environment,  and increase profits by adding 100% plant-based protein to their menus.”

The Monday Campaigns president Peggy Neu said: “gardein products are a great choice for consumers practising Meatless Monday and everyone who wants to start the week eating healthier.

“Pinnacle’s turnkey menu and promotional resources make it easy for restaurants and food operators to implement Meatless Monday programmes, which can attract new diners and meet existing customers’ demand for healthier options.”

Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Pinnacle Foods’ portfolio of brands include Birds Eye, Duncan Hines, Earth Balance, EVOL, Glutino, Hungry-Man, Log Cabin, Udi’s, Vlasic, Wish-Bone and many more.

Meatless Monday aims to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases and conserve environmental resources by encouraging the public to reduce the consumption of meat.