The vegan Beyond Burger, a realistic plant-based patty created by California-based brand Beyond Meat, will be served at hundreds of college campuses this fall.
Called the “All American Beyond Burger,” the meatless patty will be served at Burger Studio and Grille Works, two on-campus dining locations serviced by leading American supplier, Aramark. According to the company, more than three million students across 500 campuses utilize its dining services.
Available for a limited time, the vegan burger’s addition to university menus comes as part of Aramark’s Healthy for Life 20 By 20 program — an initiative launched in 2015 in collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA). The program aims to incorporate more heart-healthy, plant-based foods onto college dining hall menus. Currently, 30 percent of main dishes served at higher education locations serviced by Aramark are vegetarian or vegan.
Healthy for Life 20 By 20 is an extension of Aramark’s ongoing partnership with the animal rights nonprofit, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – the organization is helping to train company chefs in plant-based cooking. This year, more than 150 chefs across the nation participated in a culinary training program in order to learn how to incorporate more vegan food into campus menus.
Bringing vegan on campus
By increasing its plant-based options, Aramark also hopes to appeal to the “plant-forward” preferences of Generation Z. According to a survey conducted by the company, 79 percent of young people in the U.S. are interested in going meatless at least once or twice a week.
Aramark is not alone in spearheading initiatives to bring more vegan food to college campuses. Last year, the Beyond Burger debuted on menus in Yale University’s 13 on-campus dining halls. Beyond Meat also has an existing partnership with American foodservice provider Sysco, which provides food to schools and other facilities.
Through its Food Forward program, Harvard University Dining Service, the nation’s oldest collegiate foodservice operation, is also helping campus chefs learn how to prepare more plant-based foods, again with the aid of HSUS. Further, vegan meat brand Impossible Foods currently serves the Impossible Burger, a realistic plant-based burger, at the University of Chicago as well as in campus dining halls serviced by Bon Appetit Management Company and Compass Group North America.
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