Why are modern consumers rethinking their eating habits? ...
The trend towards a diet based mainly on plant foods is slowly but surely changing the food culture of our society. Plants are coming more into the spotlight of our diets, and we can assume that plant-based products will continue to gain even more popularity into the future.
One of the characterizing factors is the prioritization. Unlike vegetarianism or veganism, plant-based diets don’t focus on abstinence, but instead on abundance. In other words, rather than avoiding meat or fish entirely, they focus on the diversity of options that a plant-based diet has to offer.
... What is moving them to reduce their consumption of animal products? ...
The concept of the plant-based diet also tackles societally relevant questions such as factory farming or the health consequences of excessive meat consumption, as well as zeitgeist trends like healthness and the perfect “glow from within”, food-porn in social media, and simply the delight in creative cooking and indulgence.
Vegetarians and vegans, as well as the rapidly increasing number of flexitarians, are driving up the market relevance of plant-based products. The demand for vegetables and plant-based products is continually growing.
... And what opportunities does this present for food producers?
Yet, studies show that consumers are somewhat critical when it comes to the taste, texture, and nutritional value of plant-based products.
For producers, the trend towards a plant-based diet offers big opportunities, but also brings corresponding challenges with it in terms of taste, texture, and nutritional profile.
The world of alternatives
Throughout all of Europe, we can see an increase in launches of alternatives to milk and meat, and of bakery products without animal ingredients.
Yet, where there is growth, there are also challenges.
In addition to the protein sources already consumed for centuries in Asia, such as tofu, tempeh, or seitan, the European market is seeing an increase in products with texturized proteins, which come extremely close to the typical structure of meat.
These products are usually produced by wet or dry extrusion from deoiled soy flour, soy protein concentrates, or wheat gluten.
In order to achieve high consumer acceptance, plant-based meat alternatives must have the right sensorial quality, flavour, juiciness, and chewing consistency. Consumers furthermore expect them to offer physiological advantages with as high nutritional value as possible.
Bakery products without animal ingredients
In the last five years, the baked goods sector has introduced more and more products under a vegan claim.
But, how can cookies or cakes taste good if the butter is missing? And what do you do for binding and volume if you can’t use eggs?
Many different raw materials are suitable for vegan recipes that create baked goods with the characteristics that consumers love and cherish.
Dairy products are excellent sources of many essential nutrients like calcium, proteins, and fat-soluble vitamins.
In addition to the trend towards a plant-based diet, the increasing incidence of allergies and lactose intolerance has caused a boom in plant-based alternatives to dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, and milk. Plant-based dairy alternatives have thus gained importance in all of Europe.
When producing dairy alternatives, the task and challenge is to recreate the unique combination of important nutrients and their special functional properties.
Get in touch!
With our PLANT POWER concept, we have taken up the trend towards plant-based diets for you, and reveal ways in which you can respond to this as a food producer.
Are you interested in being inspired by our Plant Power concept, and would like to develop next generation foods? We will be happy to present the concept to you in person or by videoconference.
Please click on this Email Link to arrange a meeting or to get in touch for additional information.
Of course, you can also contact us by phone at + 41 43 499 25 00 – ask for Business Unit Nutrition & Health.