Meeting Shopper Needs for Plant-Based Holiday Options
One of the most daunting tasks for a host can be figuring out what to prepare at holiday meals and parties to accommodate diverse dietary patterns. For example, it is not unusual for a family member or friend to be following a vegetarian or plant-based eating plan. Use this seasonal opportunity of social gatherings along with your nutrition expertise to offer recipe and menu options that ease the party planning burden for your shoppers. Your solutions will be valued and can help drive customer loyalty and sales during this special time of year.
Here are some ideas to help your customers create crowd-pleasing menus while providing plant-based options:
- Encourage shoppers to reach out to their guests to confirm their menu and ask if there are any special dietary needs. Guests following a plant-based diet may offer to bring their favorite dish to share.
- Provide customers with ideas for an easy appetizer party with plant-based recipes. Many holiday parties are centered around heavy hors d’oeuvres. Seek out vendor recipes that use ingredients from around your store including produce items, deli/bakery, frozen and grocery. Morningstar Farms®, for example, offers some delicious plant-based appetizer recipes: https://www.morningstarfarms.com/recipes/appetizers.html
- Show customers how to convert traditional holiday dishes to plant-based options. Provide shoppers a guide that shows simple swaps for ingredients to convert recipes to vegetarian-friendly. For example, use Morningstar Farms® crumbled sausage patties in a stuffing recipe instead of traditional sausage.
- Promote your retailer’s recipe resources and include options that focus on hearty side dishes and salads. Providing a variety of filling sides alongside the pork tenderloin, beef roast or turkey will allow enough choices for guests and no one will go away hungry. A great suggestion is a green salad with roasted winter squash and pecans, or these Honey-Baked Stuffed Apple Wedges. Share recipes on your website, via social or on in-store recipe cards.
- Don’t forget about holiday breakfast and brunch solutions. The holiday season also means your customers may have overnight guests. Offer simple brunch solutions that include a plant-based, make-ahead casserole along with fruit trays and bakery items from your store. Include 100% juices and holiday flavored coffee/tea to round out the meal. Another easy option is to set up a make-your-own yogurt parfait or cereal bowl bar. Set out a variety of regular and plant-based milk and yogurt options, ready-to-eat cereals/granola and a selection of cut up fruit.
Providing holiday food guidance that meets the dietary needs of your shoppers and their guests, will truly be a gift they’ll be thankful for!