Companies are striving to stay up with the growing popularity of plant-based diets by developing novel, forward-thinking goods to redefine the global food landscape in the process. As analyzed in the latest Frozen Food Dossier, manufacturers are also tasked with finding ways to appeal not just to vegans or vegetarians, but also flexitarians. While challenging, this environment is likely to bloom with innovation.
According to Julie Emmett, senior director of Marketplace Development at the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), an association that represents over 350 members, plant-based food firms are continually evolving and inventing in ways that are fresh and interesting. It is clear that the potential for innovation in this market has virtually no bounds, as evidenced by the wide range of components that are being incorporated into products as well as the assortment of edibles that are being distributed.
In an interview from earlier this year, Emmett said that members of the PBFA and the industry as a whole are now in a position to meet consumers where they are and deliver on their expectations for foods that not only have a great taste but also perform well across a variety of cooking occasions, including cooking and baking, while also improving nutritional content and sustainability. She goes on to say that five years ago, pea protein was just beginning to make its way onto the scene. These days, however, businesses are using everything from mung beans to chickpeas, nuts, and seeds–watermelon seeds being the most recent addition–to create plant-based foods, and they frequently use blends to achieve optimal taste, texture, and nutritional content.
On the other hand, customers are searching for foods derived from plants across the entirety of the store. The availability of plant-based options in more than 30 distinct categories has led consumers to place an increased emphasis on variety in order to incorporate plant-based foods into all of their meal occasions. 62% of American households are purchasing plant-based foods, with a 79% repeat rate that is expanding each year, according to the PBFA’s 2021 US retail sales data for the plant-based industry in the United States.
This should send a message to retailers that it is more crucial than ever before to make it simple for customers to locate the plant-based products they are interested in purchasing. The purpose of the PBFA’s work in the area of marketplace development is to encourage collaboration between the association and retailers in the interest of improving the effectiveness of the latter’s plant-based food initiatives. For instance, when animal-based meat is served alongside plant-based meat, sales of the plant-based meat often increase by 23%. Integrated marketing emphasizes the accessibility of plant-based foods to consumers of all ages and backgrounds.
To read the entire article, please access your complimentary e-copy of Frozen Food Dossier, Autumn 2022 issue here.