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Chartwells Higher Ed bets on plant-based’s continued popularity

The foodservice management company has debuted Plant-Forward, a flexible program for colleges nationwide.
Plant-based pop-up
Image courtesy of Chartwells Higher Ed

Plant-based endeavors just keep growing.

The latest entrant? A new initiative from Chartwells Higher Ed that it says will help colleges and universities across the country explore a range of plant-based dining options on their campuses.

The flexible program, dubbed Plant-Forward, runs the gamut from plant-based pop-ups to entirely plant-based dining halls, the foodservice management company says, and features menu items such as Braised Lentil Quinoa Burgers and Thai Spiced Marinated Tofu.

Chartwells Higher Ed piloted the program at multiple campuses, including Colgate University and Northeastern University. As part of the initiative, Colgate’s dining team put on a plant-based takeover in its dining hall,  showcasing vegetable butcher and vegan rotisserie stations.

Plant-forward options have continued to gain steam across noncommercial and commercial operations alike as diners have expressed rising interest in a wider variety of meatless offerings.

“Students today are exploring more vegan and vegetarian options as a solution for healthy diets but aren’t always sure where to start,” Laura Lapp, vice president of sustainability and culinary innovation for Chartwells Higher Ed, said in a statement. “With plant-forward dining, institutions now have access to a versatile program geared toward educating and providing students with the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet.”

plant-based dish
Photo courtesy of Chartwells Higher Ed

Earlier this year, Chartwells Higher Ed leaned into another growing trend, ghost kitchens, rolling out a virtual kitchens initiative nationwide.

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