Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Plant-Based Crowd Pleaser Look to the popular potato for innovative, plant-forward ideas

This Curried Chickpea Potato Burger serves up a veg-centric twist on the traditional burger

Plant Power

The trend in plant-based foods is overarching, with reach that extends well into the future. Certainly, super-star vegetables like Brussels sprouts and carrots have a seat at the table. As do pulses and ancient grains. But how do operators tap into the veg-centric/plant-forward trend while still giving diners what they want—satisfaction, satiety and craveability?

Potatoes deliver on all three of those demands. We’ve been tracking with great interest how consumers are happily ordering a bar snack of crispy pee wee potatoes tossed in chimichurri, or perhaps brunching on a potato cannoli filled with scrambled eggs.

In fact, 75 percent of consumers prefer dishes with potatoes over those without, according to Technomic’s Foodservice Attitudes and Usage Study, 2017.

This Curried Chickpea Potato Burger (above) answers the call for plant-based options while delivering familiarity, flavor and satisfaction. The patty is flavored with curry powder, tomato, mustard and herbs, then topped with a cooling cucumber-yogurt sauce.

“A satiating and familiar ingredient, the potato offers bulk with low food cost,” says RJ Harvey RDN, CEC, Global Foodservice Marketing Manager with Potatoes USA. “This burger boasts a blend of textures because of a great combination of dehydrated potatoes with fresh spuds. That textural difference is no different than selecting different cuts of meats for a craft artisan burger.”

The nutrition profile also gives this plant-based burger an edge over traditional ones—potatoes add excellent potassium, fiber and vitamin C.

Easy Pathways to Plant-Based Success

“Familiarity and comfort is a great way to pull leery consumers along for a plant-based journey,” says Harvey. “Potatoes make for an easy transition to enjoy more vegetables. Plus, potatoes are something most operators have in stock at the ready. They are low cost so experimenting with different dishes until chefs find something that meshes with their customer base is a low risk endeavor.”

The mission today is making your offering stand out. Here are two creative ways to bridge familiarity with creativity while tapping into the red-hot plant-based trend.

Miso Potato Potstickers

Miso Potato PotstickersPotatoes USA

Miso Potato Potstickers

Perfect as a modern American bar bite, these potstickers are filled with riced Russet potato, white miso and Parmesan cheese. The result is a fluffy, tender, umami-rich plant-based bite.

For added craveability, pair with a tangy yuzu and white truffle dipping sauce.

“You can use that riced potato filling in a number of modern applications, adding a twist to ravioli, empanadas or pockets of any kind,” says Harvey.

Potato Power Bars with Heirloom Tomato and Herbs

Potato Power Bars with Heirloom Tomato and Herbs

Potato Power Bars with Heirloom Tomato and Herbs

Perfect for breakfast and brunch menus, these power bars see a savory combination of hash browns, rolled oats, sausage, cheddar, sour cream, eggs, pine nuts and potato flakes. Here, they’re baked until golden brown and topped with heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella, then broiled until the cheese melts.

These breakfast bars are easy to make and a great alternative to the ubiquitous breakfast sandwich. They can be sweet or savory, and can be made ahead of time and reheated at the last minute as a portable grab-and-go addition to your menu.

For more great ideas, visit Potatoes USA.

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