Cauliflower pizza. Buffalo cauliflower. Cauliflower crackers. It seems that no matter what you’re craving these days, chances are, there is a healthier alternative made out of none other than . . . cauliflower. Are you doing your part to take advantage of this trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon? It might be just what restaurants need.
Cauliflower for Cash During Covid19?
It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is suffering amidst COVID-19. Many restaurants and bars across the U.S are being forced to shut their doors temporarily, or permanently, until further notice. Others are able to stay open with the option of delivery and take out only. With many consumers making budget-conscious decisions right now, and cauliflower being healthy, versatile and in demand, it won’t be surprising to see more cauliflower-based alternatives popping up on menus of fast casual, quick serve and fine dining establishments alike to increase sales revenue.
If you’re looking for ways to infuse your business with positive cash flow during COVID-19 and beyond, adding cauliflower-based items to your menu may be part of the answer.
Why Cauliflower – Why Now?
The cauliflower trend, which seems to have spiked in the last three or so years, caters to consumers who are looking to make healthier choices. Specifically, catering to those looking to cut out carbs, go gluten free or add more veggies to their families’ diet.
Consumers are loving the addition of this nutrient-dense alternative to their favorite foods like mac and cheese, rice and buffalo chicken. And while this trend appears to appeal to women between the ages of 25 and 44, the reasons behind the switch will vary greatly from person to person.
Some may be vegetarian. Some may be gluten-free. But its versatility and taste (or lack thereof, rather) makes the nutrient packed vegetable highly desirable. A search for “cauliflower” in NetBase shows that people are raving on social media about it being delicious, amazing and having an amazing texture. And it’s been said that it’s relatively bland, leaving you with an almost clean slate to work with to recreate popular menu items in a vegan/vegetarian friendly way.
So how can brands and restaurants capitalize on this and capture customers love and trust?
Brands Capturing Consumer Love
It’s one thing to offer cauliflower alternative foods, but it’s another thing to offer them and do it right. Let’s take a look at some restaurants that are winning in this space.
One restaurant that seems to have this whole cauliflower fad figured out is Miznon. This NYC establishment not only offers cauliflower sandwiches, but provides an appetizer alternative consisting of a “world famous baby cauliflower” which people say once you try it, you’ll be hooked.
Planta, a plant-based restaurant operating out of Miami and Toronto is also serving up delicious cauliflower-based options, and their efforts aren’t going unnoticed, with many consumers taking note of them on social media.
One of the largest brand names in the cauliflower food industry, Caulipower, has been teaming up with restaurants, racking up over 5,000 restaurant brand partners to cater to cauliflower lovers across the nation.
They offer what seems like an endless amount of frozen food options that can be purchased at seemingly any grocery store. And they are encouraging consumers to support local restaurants through #TheGreatAmericanTakeout during this uncertain and challenging time.
From an influencer marketing standpoint, it’s important to recognize that this fad extends to vegan and vegetarian food bloggers alike:
So, how can brands and restaurants take advantage of this growing trend that has an established consumer base? Let’s take a look.
Tastefully Ties In With Other Sustainable Trends
Research shows that millennials are driving the shift towards plant-based food consumption while boasting the largest percentage of self-identifying vegans. In fact, a survey conducted by Sweet Earth Foods show that as many as 6 in 10 millennials are on a diet such as Keto, vegan, plant-based or Whole 30. And the interest in veganism and vegetarianism only continues to rise year over year.
Now more than ever millennials feel a sense of responsibility for the planet, moving them to research and purchase from brands that better the environment. And plant-based eating is part of that. When choosing restaurants or food products to purchase, millennials are likely asking these two questions:
- How does this food enrich my family’s quality of life?
- How is this company contributing to the greater good and making an impact on the world?
For some, making the switch has profound impacts on their lives.
While many millennials are curious about this trend, a recent Mintel study showed that many millennial consumers feel that there is a shortage of grab and go options that cater to ethical eating, with 67% of study participants willing to pay premium for these options.
It doesn’t seem like the trends surrounding these plant-based and vegetarian diets are slowing down any time soon, which means cauliflower isn’t disappearing either. And it’s likely easier to fold in to your existing menu than Tempeh.
When you reach out to us for a NetBase product demo, we’ll show you what people in your category/location are saying when it comes to cauliflower, and how you can jump on this – and other trends and boost your business.