Why More Consumers are Turning to Plant-Based Foods
Many consumers are introducing more plant-based proteins into their diets because they believe it’s a healthier choice than traditional dairy, eggs, and meat. Thanks to a stream of innovation in flavors, formats, ingredients, and nutrition, there’s never been a more exciting time to buy plant-based.
Top Trends in Plant-Based Protein
Here’s a look at the top trends in plant-based proteins for this year:
1. Plant-Based Milk with Extra Protein
While almond milk and coconut milk remain popular, their low protein contents prevent them from being a true nutritional match to dairy milk. Since protein has been trending as an in-demand nutrient among consumers, plant-based milk brands that fortify with protein have a competitive advantage.
A top strategy for formulating dairy alternatives with extra protein is to add a pulse-based protein (such as pea protein) or to simply increase the amount already in use—especially to 10 or 20 percent DV for a “good source” or “excellent source” claim. Higher protein plant-based yogurts that can match the nutrition and thick, decadent texture of Greek yogurt are also on the radar this year.
2. Clean Label Plant-Based Meat
Just as plant-based milk manufacturers responded to the clean label call, plant-based meat manufacturers are now rising to the occasion. Creating the right texture in a plant-based meat can be challenging, and ingredients like methylcellulose, carrageenan, and xanthan gum can work wonders for structure and water binding. Increasingly, consumers are looking for ingredient statements that are as natural, simple, and short as possible.
3. More Plant-Based Frozen Meals
Center-of-the-plate plant-based meat has become easier than ever to find in supermarkets. This includes patties, cutlets, strips, nuggets, and more. However, as the demand for healthy convenience grows, consumers will expect a greater selection of frozen entree options that incorporate plant-based meat—especially frozen burritos, pizzas, and pasta dishes.