Arby’s, Red Lobster Refute Any Plans To Offer Plant-Based Foods

Daniela Kelly September 06, 2019
 Arby’s, Red Lobster Refute Any Plans To Offer Plant-Based Foods

There are several fast-food places that have begun adding plant-based items, such as seafood, to cater to those who want them. White Castle and Burger King are just two of the many that have added plant-based foods to their menu. However, two restaurants have opted to never add such products to their menu.

Arby’s and Red Lobster have no plans to incorporate such food.

Kim Lopdrup, Red Lobster CEO, has expressed his disdain for plant-based seafood, often calling it terrible. He’s fine with healthy eating and is happy that other companies are making the move toward it. He said plant-based food is certainly far healthier than red meat, but it doesn’t trump seafood. Red Lobster offers high-quality seafood that is very healthy, tasty and good for the body.

Lopdrup said there’s not been one plant-based seafood item they’d yet seen that they’d want to include on the menu.

Another Red Lobster spokesperson noted a study from Harvard University that noted fish’ health benefits outweigh any potential dangers such as accidental consumption of mercury or carcinogens.

Arby’s is going a step further in coming out with meat-based vegetables. In the video posted on their website in July, the company showed up a creation they came up with: carrots comprised of turkey breast. The video, which lasts nearly 60 seconds, and called “The Marrot” opened with the following line:

“If they can make meat from veggies and other stuff, we can make veggies from meat.”

The video goes on to show turkey breast being sliced and rolled into a carrot shape in cheesecloth. The chef then cooks the meat sous-vide-style and places the food in a vacuum-sealed bag before it’s rolled into pieces through specially-dried carrot juice powder and roasted.

Instead of the usual, “We have the meats” slogan, the video ends with the following, “We have the Megetables.”

Arby’s Chief Marketing Officer Jim Taylor said plant-based meats is just a ploy in creating vegetables to look like the one thing Americans do crave: meat. He said most people understand, they are supposed to consume vegetables daily, but 90 percent of Americans fail to do so. Taylor said if people can make meat from vegetables, why can’t meat make vegetables?

In Arby’s spokesperson said, back in May, the company would not be working with Impossible Foods to come up with a plant-based meat product for the fast-food restaurant’s menu. According to the spokesperson, Arby’s isn’t interested in the collaboration, and are dedicated to offering meat. The spokesperson went on to say that Arby’s earned the respect it has for doing things differently than others in the industry.

Arby’s began in 1964 with a $0.69 premium roast beef sandwich while others were offering $0.15 hamburgers. Although Arby’s has been watching every other company around them offer plant-based meats, the company is well-known for bucking the trends. The spokesperson said the chances for Arby’s to offer any plant-based protein on its menu is next to zilch.

Rob Lynch, president of Arby’s, was shocked about the plant-based meat items rumors and said it would never happen while he was in charge. Lynch said Arby’s brand is all about creating huge, high-quality, meaty sandwiches. If he did happen, it would be after he left (voluntarily or fired).

MarketsandMarkets research firm said the worldwide market for meat alternatives is likely to grow to $6.4 billion by 2023. In 2018, the market hit $4.6 billion.