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Best-Kept Insights

The Expansion of Protein

As many of you know, the role of protein is expanding from center of plate to a multi-faceted ingredient. Instead of building meals around protein, we’re building meals with protein in mind. As a protein manufacturer, it’s critical for us to understand how protein’s flexibility is developing so that we can evolve our conversation, and bring products and ideas to your table in the most relevant way.

UNDERSTANDING WHY

Here are some factors we’ve noticed are driving protein’s expansion:

  • Health and Wellness

    People are balancing protein with plant-based ingredients, and are including more vegetables, fruits and whole grains in their diets.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day have replaced larger, more filling meals eaten during the traditional day parts.

  • PALATE DEVELOPMENT

    Consumer demand for new flavors, textures and food combinations has increased, expanding protein to be both a center of plate component and a flavorful accent.

PROTEIN, YOUR MOST VERSATILE INGREDIENT

As you look to use protein as an ingredient across your menu, consider how the format or unique flavor profile can add texture and flavor to your offerings. Here are some ideas to get you started.

PULLED AND SHREDDED MEATS

While these work great in sandwiches and tacos, consider using them as unique pizza toppings, soup ingredients, or to add flavor to pasta dishes.

SMOKED MEATS

A little goes a long way. Add dimension to your dishes by adding smoky diced ham, bacon, or barbequed meats to salads, sandwiches, pastas or even desserts. The extra complexity of flavor will not go unnoticed.

HOT AND SPICY PROTEIN

Protein that has a kick of spice pairs well with fresh and sweet ingredients. Spicy chorizo or sausage can be mixed into pancake or waffle batter, hot pepperoni can add depth to sandwiches, and jalapeño bacon brings a burst of heat to salads.

Menu Ideas

SIMPLIFYING THE SOLUTION

Want to make it even easier? Look for products that combine lean proteins with other ingredients consumers are craving, like whole grains, vegetables, fruit and savory spices. Our two unique HORMEL® FUSE Burger blends are a great place to start.

burger

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