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NBA arena opens its first-ever '100 percent plant-based' concession stand: 'Animal-free foods are super tasty'

"More and more players are moving to eating plant-based, and we want to give the fans the same opportunity."

Wicked Kitchen in NBA arena

Real timberwolves are meat-loving carnivores, but fans of the NBA Timberwolves no longer have to mimic the diet of their favorite team's namesake. A new concession stand by plant-based food company Wicked Kitchen is the first 100% vegan concession at the Minneapolis Target Center.

The concession stand is a first for Wicked Kitchen, which headquarters its U.S. operations in Minneapolis. Plant-based menu items will be available in the VIP Lounge and the Club Level in addition to the company's main concession stand. 

Wicked Kitchen is serving three primary menu items: a jalepeño gouda burger, a meatball sub, and a grilled chorizo bratwurst. All of these items are completely plant-based.

The company is also offering ice cream treats at its own ice cream cart, as well as three other locations throughout the arena. The flavors include Berry White, Chocolate & Red Berry, and Chocolate & Almond. As with the rest of the company's items, these products are 100% plant-based.

Plant-based diets are becoming more and more popular, in no small part because of their environmental and health benefits

Cows used for meat and dairy created over 72,000 kilotons of methane pollution in 2019, and annual methane pollution from cattle has risen over 10% since 2000. By reducing our consumption of animal products, we can reduce the demand for livestock that emit dangerous gases into the atmosphere that overheat our planet and increase the severity of extreme weather events

A number of NBA players have switched to plant-based diets, including Chris Paul, Cade Cunningham, and Deandre Jordan, with Paul previously telling Men's Health he credited his new diet to more stamina and less pain on the court. 

"More and more players are moving to eating plant-based, and we want to give the fans the same opportunity," said Pete Speranza, CEO of Wicked Kitchen, in a press release

"There's no better way to show mainstream America that animal-free foods are super tasty, satisfying and comforting than by serving them up in a basketball stadium in the middle of the country," he added.

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