woman eating taco

5 Plant-Based Protein Trends for 2024

Innovation is driving the 2024 plant-based protein trends—from emerging proteins to nutrition-focused claims to new formats for plant-based meat and eggs.


Trends in plant-based foods for 2024 include:

  • Claims growing in plant-based dairy alternatives
  • Expansion in plant-based meat formats
  • Kids consuming more plant-based products
  • Whole egg alternatives
  • New proteins emerging in the plant-based dairy category

The 2024 Plant-Based Protein Trends to Watch

1. Claims Growing in Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives

Vitamin/mineral fortified is the fastest-growing claim (+88.3% CAGR) globally in recent launches of plant-based dairy alternatives, with fiber (+44.4%) and protein claims (+37.0%) also on the rise.1 Brands are carefully formulating products to appeal as a nutritious alternative to dairy, rather than just appealing on taste and environmental sustainability. At the same time, environmental claims are also showing high growth (+73.2%) in plant-based dairy launches.2

2. Expansion in Plant-Based Meat Formats

Plant-based meat startups and big brands alike are innovating to expand consumer options, particularly in new formats. Recent product launches beyond the standard burger include Mr. Vege Vegetarian Mutton (Malaysia) and Vega Plant Based Shawarma (Israel). Despite the array of plant protein ingredients now available, soy protein continues to dominate in new plant-based meats (helping address consumers’ need for more affordable plant-based products).3

3. Kids Consuming More Plant-Based Products

Globally, 29% of parents have increased the amount of plant-based meat or dairy in their children’s diets in the past year.4 Asia is outpacing the global average, with 46% of parents in India, 31% in China, and 30% in Indonesia feeding their kids more of these products.5 Whether parents’ motivations are related to health, availability, or cost, this trend is creating a key opportunity in plant-based meals and healthy protein snacks for kids.

woman eating egg

4. Whole Egg Alternatives

Plant-based eggs are the fastest-growing plant protein on US menus after burgers, with 1-year growth of +17% and 4-year growth of 483%.6 As new plant-based egg patties and scrambles continue to enter the market, efforts to match whole eggs are ramping up. V-Love The Boiled by Migros (Switzerland) brands itself as the world’s first plant-based hard-boiled egg, and Crafty Counter has followed suit with WunderEggs (US). Both hard-boiled and deviled WunderEggs are available at Whole Foods for retail and online for foodservice.

5. New Proteins Emerging in Plant-Based Dairy Category

Pea and soy proteins have been popular protein choices for plant-based dairy product manufacturers, largely due to their functional properties. Now some companies are expanding possibilities in the category with new protein sources like chickpea. Examples include Sojasun Cremoso Con Leche De Coco coconut milk yogurt (Spain) with chickpea protein and Stockeld Dreamery Natural Spread margarine (Sweden) with lentil, chickpea, and potato protein. Seed proteins such as hemp and flaxseed are also showing up in plant-based dairy.

chick peas and spoon

Looking Ahead

Even with widespread interest in plant-based protein products, brands still face a few challenges. For example, of US consumers who don’t buy plant-based meat, concern about taste is the top reason (48%), followed by the belief that it’s not as nutritious as meat (35%) and it’s too expensive (34%).7 Expanding offerings for all plant-based categories while also delivering continuous improvements in taste, nutrition, and affordability will be key to meeting consumers’ needs going forward. 

At Glanbia Nutritionals, we offer our customers a wide variety of plant-based protein solutions, including pea, chia, and flaxseed protein solutions for bars, beverages, and bakery products. To learn how our ingredients and functional solutions can help you succeed in the market, contact us

Frequently Asked Questions

Protein-fortified bars, bites, cookies, and brownies are all good protein snacks. Protein snacking is growing more and more popular, appealing to people on many fronts. Protein snacks are a healthy way to tide you over until mealtime; they provide satiety to help with weight management, and they support muscle recovery after a workout. The sweeter protein snacks like protein cookies and brownies also offer permissible indulgence.

Plant-based milk is made starting from beans (such as yellow peas or soybeans), nuts (such as almonds or cashews), grains (such as oats or rice), seeds (such as flax or hemp seeds), or another whole plant source. The starting material can either be soaked in water, ground into a slurry, and filtered to remove the insoluble fiber, or it can be ground into flour first before removing the insoluble fiber.

Next, water and other ingredients like flavors, sweeteners, vitamins, minerals, and thickeners are added. Finally, the plant-based milk is pasteurized and packaged. Some (like pea milk) are a good source of plant-based protein, while others (like oat milk) are known for their soluble fiber benefits. Manufacturers can also start with optimized ingredients to minimize any bitter plant tastes and ensure the smoothest texture.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for an adult with minimum physical activity is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This means that someone with a low activity level who weighs 150 lbs. should be sure to consume at least 55 grams of protein each day to prevent a protein deficiency. This can be calculated by dividing your weight in lbs by 2.2 (to convert to kg) and multiplying by 0.8 grams: 150/2.2 x 0.8 = 55 grams).

However, certain groups of people have higher protein needs. For example, starting in their 40s to 50s, people need to increase their protein to 1-1.2 grams per kilogram to prevent age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). People with very high activity levels (especially those who regularly lift weights or engage in endurance sports) may require 1.1-1.7 grams per kilogram. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that 10%-35% of our calories should come from protein.


1-2. Ingredients Insider: Innovation in Plant and Non-Animal Protein Ingredients, November 2022. Data H1 2019 to H2 2022.
3-5. Ingredients Insider: Innovation in Plant and Non-Animal Protein Ingredients, November 2022.
6. Datassential, Proteins, June 2023.
7. Mintel, Plant-based Proteins – US, 2023.

Take our poll

Enter your email on the next step to receive the articles as soon as they go live.

Hello! It looks like you’re using Internet Explorer. Microsoft is phasing out this browser, so we are no longer supporting it and some parts of the page may not look right. To enjoy the full experience, we recommend you use one of these browsers: Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Brave.