6 Plant-based Proteins you need to put on your menu


From the household names to the new-to-the-market mavericks, it's hard to keep track of the growing number of plant-based proteins available to restaurants and food service operators. But keep track we must - the plant-based market could make up to 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of over $162 billion. Consumers are showing an ever-growing intrigue, with around 11% of consumers in the US, UK, and Germany already 'very interested' in alternative proteins. With some plant-based options already matching traditional proteins on price, the environmental and health benefits of these products are becoming increasingly compelling.

What are the best products out there though, and how the heck do you keep on top of such a rapidly evolving market?

From the crispiest 'bacon' to the most nutritious tempeh, our buying team spend their time researching and testing it all - so you don't have to. Whether you're looking for the best value, the 'meatiest' taste, or the cult-following that will turbocharge your sales, here's Collectiv Food's pick of the best plant-based proteins for your menu.

La Vie™

Already on Honest Burger and Byron's menus and with investors including A-list celebrity Natalie Portman, La Vie's plant-based bacon means business. An impressive 1 in 2 consumers can't tell it isn't pork, and it comes with no nitrates, no pigs harmed, and 88% less CO2 emissions.

Made entirely in France with only seven ingredients, La Vie bacon is available in lardons or even pre-cooked slices made especially for foodservice - simply heat up on the griddle pan with a dash of vegetable oil in a mere 30 seconds. Saving you on time and your carbon footprint. What's not to love?



Created with restaurants in mind, Symplicity offers plant-based products that put flavour first. It was in 2019 that Chef Neil Rankin (previously founder and chef at Temper, the open-fire pit restaurants) began experimenting with fermented vegetables to prove that plant-based 'meats' could still taste incredible without lots of processed powders. As a professional chef and a trained butcher world renowned for cooking meat, who better to make something to replace it? And so Symplicity was born.

Using minimal ingredients including fermented beetroot, mushroom and onion, Symplicity's products include burgers, sausages, meatballs, ragus, and even sauces (it's the 'nduja' that really won us over). And it's not just us who think they taste pretty special: Symplicity is already on menus across the UK including Bleecker Burger, Haché Burger, Mildred's and Dishoom.

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Better Nature

Co-founder of Better Nature Driando grew up in Java, Indonesia, eating tempeh almost everyday. But it was only when Driando started studying food science at university that he recognised what a unique and extraordinary food tempeh was. Made of just three simple ingredients (that's cultured soybeans, starter culture and water) it's packed with nutritional value and rich flavour. A PhD in tempeh fermentation and its positive impact on human health followed, before Better Nature was born.

Coming as it is or in a variety of natural flavours, shapes, and sizes, Better Nature comes ready to heat and makes for a healthy meat alternative for topping salads, bulking up curries or stirring through stews. Following a study with My Emissions, Better Nature even removes from the environment twice as much carbon and plastic as used to make its tempeh, making it Carbon and Plastic Negative.



MOCK® is the new kid on the block when it comes to plant-based meat. Exclusively created for chefs and foodservice, MOCK®'s plant-based meat alternatives can be used to replace conventional meat without compromising taste, texture, nutrition and overall satisfaction. Made from non-GMO soya and mushroom, their range includes "battered" plant-based chicken such as MOCK® Chicken Fillet Burger, Popcorn & Drumsticks, which can be prepared in less than 4 minutes from frozen. Additionally, their MOCK® Lamb pieces are a perfect substitute for a variety of conventional meat dishes such as stews, curries, burritos, shawarma kebabs and much more.

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Collectiv Food's top choice for a vegan chicken alternative, Heura® Foods was founded in Barcelona. The team behind it are proud to stay true to their Mediterranean roots, describing their vegan products as 'living and breathing Mediterranean heritage and cuisine'. The secret ingredient? Extra virgin olive oil, which is combined with little more than GMO-free legumes, spices and water.

The process starts by grinding the legumes down to a protein-rich flour which is combined with water under different levels of heat, pressure and humidity to create the perfect texture. They then marinate the products in the oil and spices, tweaking the flavours to create an impressive range of plant-based chorizo sausages through to 'chicken' nuggets.


Impossible Foods™

Californian cult-hit Impossible Foods chose the UK for its European debut and we're chuffed to be one of its chosen distributors. Founded by a Stanford University Professor, Dr Patrick O. Brown, Impossible's ambition is to address the environmental impact of our food system by using the brains of top scientists to recreate the entire sensory experience of meat, but using plants.

Its debut product was the Impossible Burger, voted the Top Plant-based Burger by the New York Times. Launched in 2016, a genetically engineered ingredient called Heme is the key. You can find out more about the impressive science behind it here, but it's Heme which gives the Impossible product its meaty flavour and enables it to 'bleed' like a beef burger.

Sadly we're going to have to wait a while longer for this product to be available in the UK, but Impossible have allowed us a glimpse of what's to come with their juicy Sausage Patty and Chicken Nuggets (which beat a leading animal chicken nugget in a blind taste test by an impressive 65% to 35%).


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