US Plant-based Proteins on the Menu Market Report 2023
[{"name":"Foodservice","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/foodservice"},{"name":"Vegan and Plant-based","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/food\/vegan-plant-based"}]
“For diners, plant-based proteins aren’t winning against meat on core factors that define a great meal. Operators need to aim beyond the goal of simply achieving taste and texture parity…

US Plant-based Proteins on the Menu Market Report 2023

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)


Stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your business with Mintel’s US Plant-based Proteins on the Menu Market Report 2023. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer attitudes towards plant-based proteins in the foodservice industry.

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analysed in the full report and summarised the core topics.

Key Topics Covered in this Report

  • Dietary restrictions, and how they inform plant-based dining at restaurants
  • Diners’ perception of plant-based proteins on restaurant menus
  • Menu items that diners want to see plant-based proteins in
  • Strategies for successful plant-based menu launches

US Plant-based Dining – Current market overview

Plant-based proteins are not star attractions on restaurant menus. A high number of diners in the US are either carnivores or omnivores, so aren’t actively seeking out plant-based options when dining out. Plant-based proteins enjoy a good reputation among consumers when it comes to health, however, a major issue for plant-based foods in the foodservice industry is the higher price point. Under a quarter of diners feel comfortable paying higher prices for plant-based proteins, and economic uncertainty has forced diners to be more cautious when spending. Going forward, restaurants need to make a much more compelling case for ordering plant-based proteins.

Plant-based Proteins on the Menu – What do consumers want?

Diners are interested in seeing more plant-based items on the menu, but due to budgetary constraints, would prefer to see plant-based options for familiar items, such as burgers, sandwiches and pizzas. While diners are well aware of the positive health benefits of plant-based meat alternatives, this will not replace taste in terms of importance. Incorporating plant-based proteins with bold, unique flavours into familiar menu items will make the trial of new items feel worth the premium prices for many consumers.

Want to learn more about the future of plant-based proteins in the US foodservice industry? Purchase our full US Plant-based Proteins on the Menu Market Report for more expert recommendations for how your brand can respond to changing consumer tastes.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

  • Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.
  • Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis from an Industry Specialist

This report, written by Varchasvi, a leading US foodservice analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the US plant-based proteins market, adding expert context to the numbers.

For diners, plant-based proteins aren’t winning against meat on core factors that define a great meal. Operators need to aim beyond the goal of simply achieving taste and texture parity with meat, and offer diners something worth coming back for – a novel dining experience that feels premium and features uniquely flavoured dishes that happen to be plant-based.

Varchasvi, Analyst – US Foodservice and Mintel Menu InsightsVarchasvi
Analyst, US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top Takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Competitive strategies
                    • Market predictions
                      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2023-28
                    • Opportunities
                      • Freshen up indulgent favorites with plant-based protein swaps
                        • Figure 2: Interest in plant-based menu items – Select items, 2023
                      • Justify premium prices with unique flavors
                        • Figure 3: Plant-based menu attitudes – Select items, by generation, 2023
                      • Ingredient and nutritional information can drive trial
                        • Figure 4: Plant-based menu perception – Select items, 2023
                    • Market Drivers

                      • Plant-based proteins aren’t serving a massive need
                        • Figure 5: Dietary preferences, 2023
                      • Budgetary constraints are headwinds for plant-based menu item trial
                        • Figure 6: Changes to AH and AFH dining, March 2023
                      • Cell-cultivated meat ready for launch in restaurants
                      • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                        • The case for eating plant-based isn’t convincing enough
                          • Plant-based proteins must fit into consumers’ desired dining experience
                            • Fan favorites go plant-based: Spotlight on Taco Bell and Panda Express
                              • Celebrating the “plant” in “plant-based”: Spotlight on Chick-fil-A and Shake Shack
                                • Personalization as a route to plant-based menu items: Spotlight on vegan-friendly restaurants in Chicago
                                  • Making plant-based ordering approachable: Spotlight on Chipotle and Blaze Pizza
                                    • Familiarity and novelty are not mutually exclusive: Spotlight on unique plant-forward menu items
                                    • The Plant-based Diner – Fast Facts

                                      • Taste and health are the top considerations when ordering plant-based proteins.
                                        • Omnivores and carnivores form the bulk of all diners. Plant-based dishes that deliver on taste give them a way to occasionally make the healthier choice.
                                          • Plant-based proteins will bring novelty to familiar, indulgent favorites, and this is where most consumers want to see plant-based options.
                                            • Diners conflate plant-based foods with health, while meat wins on taste and value.
                                              • Diners value uniqueness in the dining experience, and this outlook drives their interest in trying plant-based dishes.
                                              • Plant-based Ordering Frequency

                                                • Accessibility drives ordering frequency at LSRs
                                                  • Figure 7: Plant-based ordering frequency – NET, 2023
                                              • Plant-based Ordering Motivators

                                                • Taste is king, even in plant-based world
                                                  • Figure 8: Plant-based ordering motivators, 2023
                                                • Dietary restrictions change how consumers approach dining
                                                    • Figure 9: Select plant-based ordering motivators, by select dietary preferences, 2023
                                                  • Value benefits are a must for mass appeal
                                                    • Figure 10: Select plant-based ordering motivators, by household income, 2023
                                                • Interest in Plant-based Menu Items

                                                  • Plant-based proteins will shine in familiar, customizable formats
                                                    • Figure 11: Interest in plant-based menu items, 2023
                                                  • Plant-based shareables will win with younger consumers
                                                    • Figure 12: Interest in plant-based menu items, by generation, 2023
                                                  • Establish family appeal with versatile plant-based menu items
                                                    • Figure 13: Interest in plant-based menu items – Select items, by parental status, 2023
                                                • Plant-based Menu Perception

                                                  • Plant-based proteins don’t yet offer true “alternatives”
                                                    • Figure 14: Plant-based menu perception – Taste, 2023
                                                  • Personalization and ease of access will improve perceived value
                                                    • Figure 15: Plant-based menu perception – Value for money, by generation, 2023
                                                  • Diners equate “plant” with “health”
                                                    • Figure 16: Plant-based menu perception – Health, 2023
                                                  • Robust nutritional information will guide plant-based choices
                                                    • Figure 17: Plant-based menu perception – Nutrition, 2023
                                                  • Versatility can be an easy win for plant-based menu items
                                                    • Figure 18: Plant-based menu perception – Select items, 2023
                                                  • Environmentally friendly choices enhance the “feel good” factor of dining
                                                    • Figure 19: Plant-based menu perception – Environmental concerns, 2023
                                                • Plant-based Menu Attitudes

                                                  • Taking risks is the safe bet with plant-based proteins
                                                    • Figure 20: Plant-based menu attitudes, 2023
                                                  • Plant-based proteins need more compelling reasons to warrant premium prices
                                                    • Figure 21: Plant-based menu attitudes, by generation, 2023
                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                  • Data sources
                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations

                                                        About the report

                                                        This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                                                        Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                                        Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                                        Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                                        Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                        *databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

                                                        Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                        Click to show report
                                                        2024 Sample Consumer Cover

                                                        Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

                                                        Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                        Want to speak to us directly?

                                                        Contact us with your enquiry and our expert global team can help.

                                                        Get in touch