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The future of plant-based alternatives.jpg

What's next for plant-based alternatives?

The plant-based trend is an opportunity, and brands must focus on clean label, improving the nutritional profile, and taste and texture properties of plant-based foods and beverages.

There is no doubt mainstream interest in plant-based eating is on the rise. The plant-based meat market is projected to grow from US$4.6 billion in 2019 to $85 billion by 2030, driven by more than half (52%) of consumers who claim to be eating more plant-based foods, according to a study commissioned by DuPont Nutrition & Health.

Of course, the biggest story in this space has been the successful IPO of Beyond Meat in May 2019. Beyond Meat’s shares have rocketed since their initial public offering, putting the company’s current value at $11.8 billion. It’s no surprise given meat alternatives represent one of the fastest-growing subcategories in the plant-based segment, evidenced by the countless new products that have launched from both startups and traditional food companies.

Growth isn’t just happening in plant-based meat alternatives. Oat-based drinks and non-dairy yogurt categories are on the rise. Forbes reported the dairy alternative category is predicted to reach $10.9 billion by the end of 2019. Plant-based foods are not new to the healthy eating revolution. Meat substitutes were a trend 20 years ago. Remember Tofurky, Nuteena, textured vegetable protein and Quorn, a fungus protein?

While meat substitutes are attracting attention and huge investment today, contrary to popular belief, we’re not all turning into vegetarians. Several drivers are fueling demand and growth in the plant-based category including product innovation and advancements in food technology; concern over climate change and the environment; and increased attention to health and wellness.

So, what’s the takeaway? The plant-based trend is an opportunity, but the quest for the perfect meat alternative will not end with Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat. These products are very much still a work in progress. What’s the best strategy for success moving forward?

This article will appear in full in INSIDER's Plant-Based Revolution digital magazine, publishing in November. 

Learn more about innovation in plant-based ingredients from Geri Berdak during the “How to Win in the Booming Plant-based Nutrition Sector” session on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m., at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.

This session is underwritten by Ingredion and Top Health Ingredients.

Geri Berdak is president of CloverQuest Group, whose focus is to help companies navigate the dynamic, changing food/wellness landscape and become leading brands in the space. She has dedicated her career to the broader health and wellness category, leading marketing and product innovation efforts for Fortune 500 companies such as PepsiCo, Monsanto, Solae/DuPont and for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Kerry and Isagenix. A nutritionist and classically trained marketer, Berdak partners with her clients to create brand positioning, identify which products to offer and determine the best way to take them to market so they are highly consumer relevant, and strategically linked to the client’s brand image.  

 
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