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Plant-based pasta hits campuses, healthcare facilities

Plant-based foods are on the rise, with diners increasingly looking for new menu options. For non-commercial foodservice operators who are looking to keep pace with healthy trends and the dietary needs of a diverse population, this can present significant challenges.


College students crave high-protein, plant-based foods

Students want food that supports a healthy diet and environment, and plant-based foods put vegetables that are packed with flavor, color and, most importantly, protein in the center of the plate.

Here are a couple of trends that are making a big impact in healthcare foodservice.

Between low-carb or high-protein, vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free and more, it seems specialized diets are becoming more and more common.

Good-for-you food doesn’t do much good if it’s a hard sell to get diners to eat it. Luckily, pasta is nearly always a crowd-pleaser, especially with student athletes who benefit from its nutritional boost.

As more and more college and university students seek out whole grains in their meals, dishes featuring whole grains are on-deck to become menu mainstays.

Avoiding gluten used to mean consumers had to give up pasta, but the deprivation is over on C&U campuses.

The realization that exciting meals can be based just as easily on produce and grains as they can with meat is rippling throughout the food scene.

It’s no secret that branding in foodservice can be a formidable force. Consumers gravitate toward brands they recognize and trust, and, moreover, they associate those familiar brands with high-quality products.

Several years ago, it would have been difficult to find a café menu that included whole-grain pasta, bread or even quinoa. But today, the moves that consumers have been making toward health and wellness have caused operators to start menuing dishes that highlight whole grains and other superfoods.

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