Plant-based burger orders at quick service restaurants received a boost in sales reaching 228 million servings according to the NPD Group.
Food Business News reports the growth is connected to the availability of plant-based burgers at quick service (fast food) restaurants rather than the growth of veggie burgers over beef burgers.
While vegetarians and vegans are contributing to the growth in the plant-based market, they still make up a small single digit percentage of the U.S. population and are not the main contributors to market growth, NPD food analysts note.What’s more, 18% of the adult population say they’re trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets; and 60% of U.S. adults want more protein in their diets, according to the report.
“Plant-based burgers allow consumers to substitute without sacrifice. They get the ‘burger’ experience while assuaging their need for more protein and social concerns,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “U.S. consumers have not given up on beef burgers, but are willing to mix things up every now and then.”
It’s not a surprise that plant-based burgers are on the rise across quick service franchises. It was only a matter of time that restaurants like Burger King, White Castle and Tim Hortons, etc. would expand their offerings once news hit that more consumers are interested in reducing red-meat consumption.
However, it is still not clear whether plant-based burgers are healthier than beef burgers. Only time will tell.