Prepared Foods showcases new entrees and side dishes for foodservice in February 2020.


Plant-Based Burger

Last fall saw Nestlé Professional, Solon, Ohio, introduce the plant-based Awesome Burger to foodservice.

Officials say the new offering involved collaboration between Sweet Earth Foods, Moss Landing, Calif., and Nestlé, which acquired Sweet Earth in 2017. The result is a non-GMO plant-based burger with the juicy texture of a beef burger that delivers 22g of protein. Officials say ingredients including pea protein, natural plant extracts and coconut oil give the Awesome Burger a “distinctive raw appearance that transforms when cooked, just like a beef burger.” To develop Awesome Burger’s vegan-beef flavor, officials say Nestlé chefs worked to create a custom flavor that tastes like beef—but comes from plant-based sources.

“Consumers in foodservice have been clamoring for plant-based burger options, but operators have struggled with cooking traditional veggie burgers on their commercial equipment,” says Nestlé. “The Awesome Burger is a practical solution because it was designed specifically with operators and their equipment in mind. The Sweet Earth Awesome Burger was crafted to be the first truly no-compromise plant-based burger in foodservice that delivers on both operational efficiency and taste.”

Last October saw Nestlé return and say it had developed vegan alternatives to cheese and bacon—especially designed to complement its plant-based burger patties. This makes it the first food and beverage company to develop and produce all three essential elements for a no-compromise plant-based “bacon cheeseburger.” Officials say plant-based “bacon cheeseburger” is significantly lower in fat and saturated fat, free of cholesterol and has a higher fiber content compared to a standard bacon cheeseburger.


Sysco Simply

This January saw Sysco Corporation, Houston, introduce the Sysco Simply Plant-Based Meatless Burger Patty, a Sysco brand exclusive product. 

This plant-based burger is the latest offering from Sysco Simply, the company’s lifestyle brand designed to help foodservice operators meet growing consumer demand for flexible and customized menu choices. The Sysco Simply burger is a vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO soy patty with 18g of plant-based protein per serving, helping foodservice operators deliver a flavorful and on-trend menu offering to consumers seeking plant-based alternatives. According to the NPD Group, “burgers represent the largest plant-based foodservice category.”

“One of the key features of the patty is the special spice blend,” said Chef Neil Doherty, Sysco’s senior director, culinary development. “We worked extensively to ensure that we got the recipe just right. Our juicy Sysco Simply burger, with its exclusive combination of flavorful seasonings, has a hearty, meat-like texture and cooks within minutes, just like a traditional burger.”

In addition to the plant-based burger, Sysco Simply also offers a ground meatless option that is made using the same ingredients—but offers customers the flexibility to use the plant-based meatless product as an ingredient in a wide variety of recipes and dishes.

“Sysco developed Sysco Simply to offer our customers more of what they need to be successful in a competitive marketplace,” said Brian Todd, Sysco’s senior vice president, merchandising and marketing. “This launch, and the Sysco Simply brand, demonstrate our commitment to providing our customers with innovative, versatile and easy-to-use product solutions. Our customers can feature these delicious plant-based burgers to keep their menu offerings fresh and relevant with today’s consumers.”


Ethnic Adventure

Last fall saw distributor US Foods Holding Corp., Rosemont, Ill., introduce a “Fall Scoop 2019” range of new products including “Global Discovery Made Easy” offerings with Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern influences.

With 54% of consumers saying they have gone out of their way to try a novel global food, today’s diners are hungry to explore new flavors from all over the world. To help restaurant operators stay competitive, US Foods collaborated with nationally recognized chefs Chef Diana Dávila, Chef Thai Dang and Chef Sameh Wadi to advise on many of the globally inspired products.

“Today’s diners are more adventurous, and they expect diverse, authentic food experiences,” said Stacey Kinkaid, vice president, product development and innovation, US Foods. “… By focusing our efforts on items our operators would normally not have the time, resources or experience to create on their own, we have delivered turnkey solutions they can add to their menus with confidence.”

Fall Scoop offerings included many meat-based entrees including all natural Al Pastor, Bulgogi Beef and Beef Shawarma all under the Chef’s Line brand. Related new side dishes included Monarch Fire Roasted Corn and Poblano Peppers Blend with Onions, del Pasado Mini Chile Rellenos, and Pacific Jade Korean BBQ Style Spring Rolls (pictured).