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Trends Driving Plant-Based Food Innovation

February 23, 2022

As consumers look to expand their palates with plant-based proteins, innovation and variety are the name of the game in 2022. Ingredients such as textured pea proteins, mung beans and seaweed are being utilized alongside soy to improve the taste and texture of meat analogues. 
Did you know veggie burgers are more prevalent on menus than bacon cheeseburgers? As they’ve become ubiquitous, it’s time to bring on the new. Now operators are taking plant-centric entrees to the next level, including natural meat replacements that deliver quality nutrition and satisfying flavour. While these options are based in wholesome ingredients and filled with beneficial nutrients, consumers may be looking for more protein. 
Along with this hope for plant-powered protein, health goals, environmental concerns and supply chain issues have teed up 2022 to be a year of expansive meat, dairy, and egg substitute growth. Ingredients such as textured pea proteins, mung beans and seaweed are being utilized alongside soy to improve the taste and texture of meat analogues. 



To meet consumer expectations and combat harmful practices to the environment, manufactured products will continue to broaden well beyond the burger patty to include varieties of seafood, pork, lamb and more.


To address consumer demand for clean label claims in plant-based offerings, operators will find ways to innovate with more wholesome ingredients.


Communicating the environmental and ethical implications of ingredients within menu mentions will be just as important as nutrition and taste.



With over 1/3rd of German consumers trying to limit their meat intake most of or all of the time, it’s important to keep innovating meat free meal and snacking ranges to support this dietary change

UK consumers are looking for better tasting AP products. As the market continues to grow and attract new consumers, innovation must prioritize the eating experience.

Europe consumers appetite for plant-based snacking shows no signs of slowing down, with a 260% increase in plant-based product launches in the snacking category between 2018 and 2021 *(UK, Spain, France, Germany)

culinary inspiration 

Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Custom Culinary® products. 

king oyster vribs

This plant-based concept is inspired by the classical American pork ribs, why should meat eaters have all the fun?  

To create these appetizing ribs our chef used a product from each of our brands.

  • First, a fond was used to give extra flavour to the sous-vide cooked mushrooms. The mushrooms mimic the "bone" of the rib.
  • Then, a seasoning to marinate the vegan ribs and ensure a meaty smoked flavour.  
  • Finally, a sauce to be applied, with the help of a basting brush, during the final step while cooking the ribs on the barbecue or grill. 

The ribs are garnished with burned corn, cherry tomatoes, red cabbage and green leaves.

Our Chef for this trend:


Chef Alex Tieck

Alex is a Commercial Chef for Custom Culinary® . He supports foodservice brands by developing new products, sharing trends and giving them ideas! He gained knowledge and experience through his years working in Berlin, New York  & Sydney.

Custom Culinary® products that Alex used: 
  • Custom Culinary® Master's Touch® Tex Mex Sauce - A typical Tex Mex sauce with chilli, allspice and some ginger.
  • Custom Culinary® Chef's Own™ Rib Rub Seasoning - A balanced blend of garlic, onion and paprika seasoned with oregano, parsley and black pepper.  
  • Custom Culinary® Gold Label Mushroom Fond - A culinary paste of porcini, boletus and champignons to boost umami in soup, stew, casseroles. 





foodservice inspiration

V-Honest Burgers (UK)


Honest Burger has opened its first fully vegan burger restaurant. The menu has vegan versions of the Honest and the Tribute as well as new flavours to choose from including Pesto & Buffalo. 
In the other restaurants they also provide vegetarian & vegan options. 

Subway (UK)

For Veganuary the chain has updated their vegan offerings with two new launches for Veganuary this year – the T.L.C.™ (Tastes Like Chicken) Tikka and T.L.S.™ (Tastes Like Steak) subs. The T.L.C. Tikka is made with strips of plant-based ‘chicken’ with tikka-inspired flavours, designed to mimic Subway’s roast chicken breast strips. And the best part? You can get it with slices of vegan cheese.

Wagamama's Tempura F-ish + Bang Bang Yaki-imo (UK)

Plant-based fish isn't just something you can find in supermarkets and cafe's now - Wagamama's are serving up a Japanese-inspired take on the classic fish & chips, served in newspaper and all!

Burger King (EU)

BK is innovating across Europe with the launch of its Vegan Royale Burger (UK), a plant-based version of its signature chicken burger.

In Spain (Madrid), the brand opened a 100% vegetarian Burger King restaurant named “Vurger King”, with a menu full of meatless menu items such as the plant-based Whoppers, plant-based Nuggets, and the Long Vegetal, a vegetarian friendly version of the chain’s chicken sandwich.





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*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.