Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, is putting a twist on comfort food, with the launch of its first dedicated plant-forward dining concept, The Twisted Beet.
The Twisted Beet’s plant-forward comfort food menu shrives to put a healthy spin on dishes like meatball subs and mac and cheese, and emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
It still offers a small quantity of animal protein.
Driving the change is Aramark research, which shows that 60 percent of consumers want to reduce their meat intake and 62 percent want to eat more vegetables.
“While our menu-development process has always had a focus on health and wellness, plant-forward is now a key focus for Aramark,” said Heidi Hogan, who leads product development and menu innovation 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.”
Some of the menu includes:
- Signature Plates: Eggplant Meatball Sub, Chickpea Hummus Bowl, Creole Beyond Sausage®
- Sides: Caesar Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Beet Slaw, Avocado Kale Salad, Dukkah Spiced Broccoli
- Dessert: Strawberry Chia Shortcake, Kale and Pineapple Smoothie
As part of the company’s Healthy for Life® 20 by 20 collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA), Aramark launched a major plant-forward initiative to elevate the role of fruits, vegetables and whole grains on its menus.
Currently, approximately 30 percent of the main dishes Aramark serves across its college and university dining, hospital café and workplace locations, are vegan or vegetarian.