By Sacha Cohen
Plant-based foods have come a long way from the days of bland tofu and meh soy products. Today, consumers can enjoy plant-based cheese created using traditional methods and cutting edge technology, products packaged in recyclable containers, an exceptional range of plant based meats, and a whole range of mouthwatering foods that make it easy to go meat free.
At the Plant Based World Conference and Expo on December 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York, foodservice and retail professionals, distributors, investors, and manufacturers will get to experience, taste, and see the latest and greatest this groundbreaking industry has to offer.
Here are a few of the trends we are looking forward to learning more about.
- Next generation plant-based meats: We can’t believe it’s not meat! Plant-based bacon that looks, cooks, and tastes like the real thing from Hooray Foods and plant-based pork products (including Spam) from Omni Foods will fool your eyes and your taste buds. We’re also looking forward to trying artisan plant-based meats and poultry at the show from brands such as Alpha Foods, Before the Butcher, Meatless Farms, Upton’s Naturals, and Chkn Not Chicken.
- Dairy alternative innovations: Forget the chalky and grainy dairy-free products of yore. Advances in plant-based protein technologies and flavorings mean that you can enjoy all of the creamy deliciousness of dairy without the moo. Miyoko’s Creamery, for example, uses cutting edge plant milk fermentation to bring “the foods we love into the 21st Century.” Their products include vegan butter, vegan farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack, vegan mozzarella and more. Other innovative dairy alternative brands to watch include Good Planet Foods, Nuttin Ordinary Cashew Cheese, and NewFields Plant Based Cheese.
- Sustainable packaging and manufacturing. Reducing plastics, opting for sustainable packaging, and using more sustainable ingredients is of utmost importance to many plant-based companies who are working toward a healthier, more compassionate, and more eco-friendly food system. Givr Packaging, for example, is a plastic free, net positive packaging company that provides corrugated and folding carton packaging for every stage of the supply chain. Ripple uses yellow peas to produce delicious plant-based milk that has a small environmental footprint since peas grow in areas that receive lots of rain, so they need little or no irrigation.
- Flexitarianism: The term Flexitarian is a mashup of “flexible” and “vegetarian” and has become the word du jour lately. Flexitarianism is on the rise as more and more consumers become aware of the health and environmental benefits of consuming less meat and dairy. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have brought plant-based options like meatless burgers and plant-based eggs into the mainstream and are making it easier than ever for consumers to enjoy great tasting food without compromise.
- Non-GMO, organic, and natural clean label flavorings. Companies such as Flavor Producers and Brookside Flavors craft new taste experiences with natural, organic, and plant-based flavors and extracts. Third Wave Bioactives food fermentate range of cultured dextrose based food ingredients are designed to enhance the flavor profile of perishable foods while maintaining product quality, helping customers adapt to meet the growing consumer demand for healthier, cleaner labeled foods.
Those are just a few of the trends and innovations that will be showcased at Plant Based World Expo. Foodservice and retail buyers won’t want to miss out on the chance to better understand the market and how to add plant-based options to menus and shelves. Register for Plant Based World Conference and Expo today.