Interest in white-meat dishes and plant-based alternatives has risen in recent years. Although you might adapt your menu to fit these moving changes, it’s important to know diners still depend on beef as a go-to menu option. Whether you’re sticking to the classics or creating new dishes inspired by trendy flavors, discover why beef remains a hit and how you can keep it fresh on your menu.
Why is Red Meat Here to Stay?
Data indicates that customer interest is strong for premium cuts and upscale varieties of red meat1 and menus across the United States attest to beef’s staying-power. Korean barbecue is a growing food trend customers love because it “spices up group gatherings and leads to experiential dining.”3 From Korean barbecue to birria tacos, these are just a few of the many growing, popular beef additions to bar and restaurant menus.
Additionally, diners care more about health than ever. Luckily red meat will always be a substantial source of protein, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and other important micronutrients.2
Gen Z is Still Choosing Red Meat
Late millennials and early Generation Z have a large say in food trends right now. Although Gen Z-ers are growing increasingly cognizant of what they choose to eat, there’s still a push for beef. In fact, while some Gen Z-ers embrace plant-based meat options or label themselves as vegetarian or vegan, 16% have increased how much red meat they consume.1
Because Generation Z is mindful of the environment and expect to have a plethora of options, offering a wide range of beef is an effective way to show you’re aware while allowing them to choose what they prefer. Regardless of where trends are moving, Generation Z is still consuming beef and count on having it as an option when dining.
Big Menu Opportunity
The desire for classic dishes such as a New York strip, filet mignon or burgers are far from fading. At the same time, beef is also an exciting opportunity to innovate your menu. Try on-trend applications like Japanese-inspired dishes. Feature unique offerings like beef jerky or candied bacon in an appetizer. 82% of consumers are bacon fans, even 11% of vegetarians and vegans say they love bacon.1 Knowing this, a beef-bacon combo is sure to appeal to these customers.
Diners are loving global, bold spices right now. In fact, the amount of spicy restaurant options for customers has spiked.5 But often, they like to try global flavors in a dish they’re already comfortable with.6 Many global dishes integrate bold, spicy flavors using beef. Red Pepper Beef and Broccoli, Spicy Greek Steak Wrap, Cayenne Chili Fajitas, and Mexican-Spiced Street Tacos are a few dishes that deliver the global spice consumers are craving.
All-in-all, you don’t have to worry about a plummeting demand for beef. Not only is it desired by consumers, but there are countless ways to transform it to be on-trend.
- 1 Datassential, 2022.
- 2 Healthline, 2022.
- 4 The Food Institute, 2022.
- 5 Food & Beverage Insider, 2022.6 Bite, 2022.