Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, May 2018

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■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 46 Plant-Based Ingredients MAY 2018 BUMPER CROP O ne of the most valuable skills to have in the health-and-wellness biz is knowing how to separate the novelties from the "new normal"—the passing fads from the real-live future. So as we approach a future wherein the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Na- tions predicts 1 we'll need 70% more food to feed every human on the planet within 30 years, it's a safe bet that whatever that real- live future has in store, it'll have a place for plant proteins. And yet we needn't gaze that far into the out years to appreciate plant proteins' im- pact. T ese phenomenally popular ingredi- ents are already so ever-present that they no longer qualify as just au courant; they're a bona f de movement. But while the public may be ready for plant proteins, are plant proteins ready for the public? And are supply lines suf ciently stocked with options f t for commercial formulation? After all, any novel ingredient goes through "growing pains" as it transi- tions from trendy to trusted—and some plant proteins have experienced pretty rocky adjustments already. Regardless, says Samantha Ford, business development director, AIDP (City of Indus- try, CA), "Whether manufacturers are ready or not, the demand for plant proteins is there and rising. If anything, that market push will drive manufacturers to innovate and ramp up their development work to keep up with consumers' needs." And with their wants— for consumers want more protein in their lives, and they want it to come from plants. Voting with Their Dollars T e Good Food Institute (GFI; Washington, DC) and the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA; San Francisco) worked with market research f rm Nielsen (New York City) to de- f ne the total retail audience for plant-based foods within Nielsen's Expanded All Outlets Combined Channel, which scans outlets in- cluding grocery, drug, mass merchandise, club, dollar, and military stores, as well as Whole Foods Market. T ey found that total U.S. retail sales of plant-based meals as well as meat, dairy, and egg substitutes topped $3.1 billion last year alone, with 8.1% growth for the sector year over year—even as sales of all food in the same channel declined 0.2%. Notes Zak Weston, cor- porate engagement specialist at GFI, "Many of the larger plant-based companies—Boca, Be- yond Meat, Impossible Foods—report double- digit growth in sales since last year." Similarly, when Innova Market Insights (Arnhem, Netherlands) reported 2 on plant protein trends last year, it found not only that consumers are leaning toward diets with less meat and more plants—fully 44.1% of U.S. shoppers surveyed told Innova that they in- creased their meat substitute/alternative SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ FOTOS593 Plant protein advancements are more bountiful than ever. BY KIMBERLY J. DECKER

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