New vegan menu options
Many restaurants are recognizing that they need to have tasty vegan options to appeal to those who are already vegan or vegetarian. They are also hoping to entice meat-eaters to give these options a try. The latest restaurant chains to add vegan meat substitutes include Donatos Pizza and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Donatos Pizza is introducing Vegan Pepperoni at nearly 170 locations nationwide, including right here in the northwest. The family owned pizza brand announced the new plant-based pepperoni launch this month in partnership with the plant-based meat brand, Field Roast. It all came about from a desire for the Donatos team to find a way to help their customers achieve their New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people aspire to eat more veggies, so Donatos Pizza decided to roll out plant-based pepperoni as an easy substitute for animal-based pepperoni.
“There is no better time for us to introduce plant-based pepperoni to our menu, particularly at the start of a new year when many people resolve to make smarter food choices. While this addition is a delicious alternative to our traditional pepperoni topping, it absolutely goes toe-to-toe in both flavor and substance, and we can’t wait for people to try it,” said Carol Pasquariello, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Donatos.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its vegan chorizo protein option to all 2700 restaurants nationwide. It’s made in-house, with a base of pea protein that is flavored with ancho chilies, chipotle peppers, tomato paste, crushed garlic, Spanish smoked paprika, and extra virgin olive oil.
Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Chipotle, says, “We are thrilled to introduce guests to our new, flavor-packed Plant-Based Chorizo during a season when healthier options are top of mind,” “Plant-Based Chorizo is our best chorizo ever and proves that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to enjoy a vegan or vegetarian protein.”
The new plant-based chorizo is Chipotle’s second vegan meat option, following the 2014 launch of sofritas—an organic tofu-based shredded vegan meat spiced with poblano pepper, cumin, and chipotle chiles. In 2019, Chipotle debuted the sofritas-topped Vegan Bowl as a permanent menu item as an extension of its Lifestyle Bowls line.
We are so happy to see more and more plant-based menu items. Progress!