Are Plant-Based Meats the Next Burger Wars?

Are Plant-Based Meats the Next Burger Wars?

CHAPEL HILL, NC—Plant-based meats continue to grow in popularity, fueling speculation this could be the next quick-service food battle, QSR Magazine reports. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, plant-based foods will grab an increasingly larger share of menus, diets and to-go orders, with growth predicted from $29.4 billion in 2020 to more than $162 billion by 2030.

Leading the trend are Gen Z, with 63% of this generation eating vegan or vegetarian meals at least monthly and 44% forgoing meat once or more per week, according to Technomic’s “2020 Center of the Plate: Seafood and Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report.”

Fast-food restaurants are adding plant-based options to their menus to appeal to these vegan and vegetarian-flexing consumers. For example, Chick-fil-A recently debuted a meat-free Cauliflower Sandwich in some markets.

Other QSRs dabbling in plant-based meats include Chipotle and Taco Bell. Chipotle announced last summer its investment in Meati Foods, which uses proprietary, clean processes to provide nutritious, complete proteins made from mushroom root. Last year, Taco Bell tested a new vegan plant-based protein blend of soy and pea protein in its Crispy Melt Taco and Nachos BellGrande. That was the third time the Tex-Mex chain tried a meatless option since its partnership with Beyond Meat was announced in 2021.


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