Plant Power to the People – Grab & Go Fuels Guests

Plant-based has gone mainstream, with more than 9.7 million Americans following plant-based diets according to The Beet. In response, restaurants everywhere, including those in country clubs and hotels, are increasing their offerings to stay competitive.  But plant-based offerings shouldn’t stop at fine dining.  Grab & Go selections are a great venue for packaged plant-based snacks – particularly as these businesses reopen post Covid-19 quarantine.

The plant-based snacks category is growing rapidly, so it seems overwhelming to keep up with the latest offerings.  Also, though similar in wants and size, the snacks that might work best for a country club, might not be applicable to a hotel.  By understanding the needs of your members and guests and their snacking preferences, you can turn a so-so snack program into a stellar one.

Read the Green – Plant-based Protein An Ace with Club Members

While many private and public clubs are reopening to members post quarantine, the Morning Read reports inside pro shops remain closed, with dining limited to outside only. Even with present changes, we do know the day will come for clubs to go back to full, indoor dining. According to Club Director Magazine, food and dining options play a major role in potential members’ decisions to join a particular club. Because food plays such a major part in a club’s appeal, all aspects of the food program should be top notch —including packaged Grab & Go.

Regardless of new Covid regulations, getting off the green for a snack is not always an option, so your Grab & Go must offer packaged snacks geared to golfers. Golfers are athletes and need to fuel up as any other athlete.  Publications like Golf Magazine suggest plant-based protein bars as an option to keep golfers in the swing. One of our favorites is GoMacro Plant-based Protein Bars, made with clean ingredients and powered by nut-based proteins like cashew butter or almond butter, as well as nut-free proteins.  For plant-based protein with a sweet appeal, we suggest Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie, which tastes like a soft baked cookie, but packs the protein, and fiber to fuel a day on the links.  In addition, many Complete Cookie varieties are free of soy, dairy, and eggs, filling a need for those who opt for stricter dietary requirements. 

Surprisingly, plant based options are taking off in the jerky market as well. Portable, palate-pleasing tastes with savory offerings are tops on the list of jerky fans. Protein-packed Jerky is a snack recommended for a better golf game, so adding plant-based jerky like Krave Vegan Jerky in Korean Barbecue or Smoked Chipotle to your selection is sure to be a snacking hole in one.

Hotel Guests Grab Onto Grab & Go

The current Covid climate is changing the face of hotel food service. Even before the quarantine, the industry was moving away from in-room dining to simpler, pre-packaged Grab & Go options available in the lobby.  Now, hotels are working with smaller guest services and food staff while experiencing an increased demand for prepackaged items as guests view pre-packed items as inherently safer, as reported by Lodging.

Even with this demand for increased safety associated with prepackaged food products, Lodging also reports that, during the pandemic, hotel guests are still looking for healthy snacks that fit within their lifestyle. While they’re craving healthy, taste is still a major factor when making plant-based snack decisions, according to Modelēz’s Let’s Chat Snacks.

Guests are looking for a quick meal replacement like plant-based protein bars as well as searching for a way to quench a craving for comfort.  If it’s comfort that they crave, plant-based chip alternatives are a hit.  From first sight of the pea pods on the bag, guests understand Harvest Snaps are plant-based.  Made from green peas, red lentils, and black beans, Harvest Snaps are baked to crispy perfection. The natural pea pod shape is preserved for a fun bite. Harvest Snaps provide crunch with the healthy veggies they crave.  

Fans of cheese puffs or bbq chips will love the better-for-you option found in Hippeas chickpea puffs. Full of cheesy, barbecue, or spicy flavor, Hippeas are crispy, boldly flavored snacks packed with protein. If they’re looking for even more veggies with their puffs, we love Vegan Rob’s vegetable puffs featuring various veggies like cauliflower, beets, spinach, and moringa.  For guests who prefer to stay in and binge watch movies, Vegan Rob’s also offers light and crispy popcorn selections.

Whether you’re running a club or a hotel, understanding your customers’ needs is paramount to creating a stellar experience.  You understand keeping up on current food trends and adapting offerings accordingly will help you stand out. Guest will remember your pre-packaged, plant-based snacks and Grab & Go options that satisfy dietary wants and cravings, and provide the added feeling of safety.  Promote the trending snacks in a dedicated section with signage, special shelving, or a container to make the unique plant based snacks stand out from the rest.  These little changes go a long way to creating brand loyalty and club membership.

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