Top Trends Ahead in Plant-Based Protein
While this year has been a time of exciting innovation in plant-based protein products, here’s a look at the plant-based protein trends we’re expecting to see going into 2022:
1. Plant-Based Milks with More Protein
Consumers’ strong demand for more protein from their foods and beverages is driving innovation even in plant-based protein products, with Silk Ultra as one of the latest examples. Silk Ultra provides a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving—similar to a protein shake—but can be used in cereal, coffee, and other milk applications. Almond and coconut milks fortified with pea protein are also part of the more-protein trend.
2. Clean Label Plant-Based Meats
More than one in three consumers are influenced by natural labels when grocery shopping, with half saying it’s important to avoid chemical-sounding ingredients, reports the International Food Information Council.2 Plant-based meat companies are beginning to respond to this preference, seeking ways to replace ingredients like methylcellulose and titanium dioxide, for example, with recognizable ingredients and by using shorter ingredient statements.
3. Expansion of Plant-Based Frozen Meals
The Plant Based Foods Association reports plant-based frozen meals grew by almost 29% last year, compared to 8% growth in the frozen foods category overall. This indicates a strong demand for convenient, heat-and-eat meals in plant-based options. Plant-based pasta dishes, burritos, and pizzas are some popular meals that will continue to expand in the frozen aisle.