Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Plant-based Purées Deliver Vegan and Vegetarian Options Plant-based purées are a smart way to exploit this area of growth


Plant-based meals used to carry a stigma of bland, uninteresting flavors. Thanks to flavor innovation and modern menu strategies, chefs are changing the game and opening up the world of vegan and vegetarian options.

Plant-based purées are a smart pathway for successful menu development here.

“An open-mind and a chef with creativity can take this to new heights,” says Rick Perez, chef/founder of R&D Culinary Consultants. “Opportunity with plant-based purées is huge thanks to a number of factors, including dietary restrictions, dietary preferences, and emerging global cuisines.”

He serves up a modern solution that sees plum purée as the base. “This is a dark-colored purée with a great ability to both enhance flavor and pick up flavors,” he says. “It can be used in sauces like Asian, chile garlic, barbecue, steak sauce and more.

Plant-based purées bring a lot to the table, satisfying the demand for vegan/vegetarian options while providing a rich eating experience, ensuring that there’s no sense of trade-down or sacrifice.

“Plant-based spreads have a delightfully creamy texture and mouthfeel,” says Meredith Daca, VP of Culinary Marketing at Marlin Network Culinary Arts.

“They can easily take the place of butter or cream in a recipe, offering the richness of dairy in a lighter, more nutrient-packed way. This is a great tool for culinarians to utilize as consumers continue to move towards more mindful eating.”


  From the Jan/Feb 2018 Top 10 Trends issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.

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