Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, May 2018

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 47 MAY 2018 consumption over the prior year—but that industry is listening. To wit, the indexed num- ber of global new food and beverage launches bearing plant-based claims saw a CAGR of 67.6% from 2013 through 2017. To Your Health It's easy to see why the plant-based category is enjoying such growth. "Plant-sourced pro- teins appeal to so many consumer desires," says Pam Stauf er, global marketing pro- grams manager, Cargill (Minneapolis). "You name it: non-GMO, organic, sustainable, vegan, non-big-8 allergen, label friendly. Con- sumers understand what an ingredient like pea protein is, and they feel very conf dent feeding products like that to their families." Concerns about animal welfare, antibi- otics in meat, and the general sense that plant-centered agriculture is gentler on the earth than raising livestock also play to plant proteins' benef t. But "above all," says Shaheen Majeed, president worldwide, Sa- binsa Corp. (East Windsor, NJ), "health ben- ef ts established through research are mak- ing people turn to plant sources for their protein requirements." He cites new Mintel research 3 showing that 76% of Americans believe proteins from plant sources are healthy, with around 28% turning to protein alternatives for weight- management benef ts. In addition to that Majeed adds, "People are consuming plant- based proteins for satiety and to build mus- cle mass and strength." Blame Millennials According to a HealthFocus International survey 4 , plant-based foods' health halo fac- tors especially strongly into younger con- sumers' interest in the category. But Millen- nials, the survey found, were actually "more apt to cite environmental, sustainability, and social issues among their key drivers," notes Matthew Jacobs, global product line leader for plant proteins at Cargill. "Whether manufacturers are ready or not, the demand for plant proteins is there and rising," says Samantha Ford of AIDP.

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