Slideshow: New menu items from Blimpie, Wienerschnitzel, Pokeworks

KANSAS CITY — Restaurant owners are partnering with consumer packaged goods companies to offer more plant-based options on menus.

Sandwich chain Blimpie is offering a meatless version of its Parmigiana Meatball Sub for a limited time. The sandwich features Gardein plant-based meatballs smothered in tangy marinara sauce and melted provolone cheese sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The Gardein brand belongs to Conagra Brands.

“Customers were looking for a plant-based option, and we set out to create a sub that could fulfill their cravings,” said Sam Carity, senior national marketing manager for Kahala Brands, Blimpie’s parent company. “Our new sub offers the same mouth-watering taste as our classic Meatball Parmigiana, now in a vegetarian option.”

Fast food chain Pokeworks has teamed up with OmniFoods, maker of plant-based pork protein OmniPork, to introduce Omni Luncheon Musubi in select locations. The protein, made from soy, peas, shiitake mushrooms and rice, is piled on top of sushi rice and wrapped in a strip of dried seaweed.

“This partnership with OmniFoods is very exciting as we continue to find more plant-based alternatives that can be added to our customers’ favorite bowls at Pokeworks,” said Steve Heeley, CEO of Pokeworks. “With sustainability as one of our core values, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to meet consumer demand that are both good for the planet and provide healthy options for conscious consumers. We look forward to working with OmniFoods to help introduce their favorite quality alternative to our traditional Garlic Spam Musubi.

Wienerschnitzel has partnered with Greenleaf Foods, a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, to serve Field Roast Plant-Based Signature Stadium Dog in its restaurants nationwide following a successful market test. The item can be served in three different ways: backyard, barbecue and Chicago style.

“Few foods ignite passion quite like hot dogs, and we’re proud to satisfy that American hot dog craving for plant-based consumers nationwide through our ongoing partnership with Wienerschnitzel,” said Dan Curtin, president of Greenleaf Foods. “It’s an honor to partner with such a popular and iconic restaurant chain where hot dogs aren’t just an option – they’re central to the menu.”

Greenleaf Foods has also collaborated with pizza chain Donatos on two new pizzas topped with Field Roast Plant-Based Pepperoni, formulated with pea protein.

“We’ve seen great momentum with our field-roasted plant-based Pepperoni in the foodservice industry and we’re excited to increase its accessibility through our partnership with Donatos,” Curtin said. “Our plant-based pepperoni offers the same protein per serving as traditional pepperoni and an authentic, bold taste that is sure to impress curious plant-based and plant-based consumers.”

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