Thanks to MorningStar Farms, over 3,000 hospitals and schools across the US will be adding Incogmeato’s vegan burgers to their menus, offering a plant-based option for students, patients, staff, and visitors. The subsidiary brand of The Kellog Company plans to bring the vegan burgers through its “Incogmeato” plant-based line. The move stems from Kellog’s recent partnership with foodservice company Sodexo to improve plant-based availability nationwide.
The companies look to capitalize on the rapidly rising consumer demand for plant-based foods by bringing plant-based foods to essential services such as schools and hospitals. The partnership will allow people to choose plant-based in areas and establishments that often do not offer any vegan alternatives. Currently, Sodexo features MorningStar’s Spicy Black Bean Burger and now the Incogmeato Burger Patties across healthcare facilities.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Kellog’s Away From Home [its foodservice arm] to offer our meat-loving customers a plant-based protein… to [allow them to] make more sustainable and plant-based choices without sacrificing what they love about meat,” Senior Director of Culinary Development at Sodexo Rob Morasco said. “More people are exploring plant-based food options and we’ve seen a growing demand in our industry…Plant-based meat alternatives also support Sodexo’s carbon reduction goal to reduce operationally and supply chain carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2025, a commitment of our Better Tomorrow 2025 plan.”
Last year, MorningStar launched its Incogmeato line to enhance the company’s plant-based selections. Even though the brand offered a selection of vegetarian and some fully vegan foods, the rising demand for completely plant-based foods encouraged the company to develop more plant-based selections. The company rolled out its new line at grocery stores and foodservice partners in early 2020 and plans to continue expanding. Hoping to mirror the taste and texture of conventional meat products, Incogmeato’s selections include vegan burgers, Chicken Tenders, and Chicken Nuggets.
Incogmeato’s move to serve schools and hospitals shows Kellog’s growing dedication to plant-based accessibility. The brand previously partnered with Pizza Hut for its vegan Italian sausage trial in Phoenix, Arizona. The special offer did not result in a nationwide partnership between Kellog’s and Pizza Hut, but following the vegan sausage test, Pizza Hut did reveal two Beyond Pan Pizzas with Beyond Meat. Earlier this year, Beyond also announced that it will partner with Pizza Hut’s parent company Yum! Brands this year and into the future.
By debuting the Incogmeato products in schools, Kellog’s aims to introduce its meat-like products to Gen-Z consumers. Kellog’s research found that Gen-Z typically prefers plant-based proteins that do not try to mirror meat such as the MorningStar Black Bean Burger. However, Kellogg’s hopes that the product will encourage more people to adopt a plant-based diet once they try the plant-based meat substitute.
“Our Incogmeato lineup is a delicious plant-based solution for Sodexo’s guests who are craving a truly meat-like experience,” General Manager of Kellogg’s Away From Home Zach Ramos said. “We are proud to offer our operator partners go-to plant-based options that give their guests what they’re craving – especially as consumers demand just-like-meat products continues to grow.”
Earlier this year, The Hayek Hospital located in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital to completely stop serving meat and solely offering plant-based foods. The move is an attempt to enhance the health of patients, drawing attention to the importance of nutrition and food with health and wellness. Even though American hospitals partnering with Incogmeato and Sodexo won’t exclusively provide vegan food, the plant-based menu will allow patients to choose a healthier option while at the hospitals.
“When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic–the same group as tobacco–and red meat as Group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in a hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital,” the hospital said in a statement in March. “When adopting a plant-based diet has been scientifically proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but also reverse them.”
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