Plant-based innovation flourishing

Wednesday, 11 July, 2018

Plant-based innovation flourishing

Between 2013 and 2017 there was a 62% increase in plant-based new product claims.

This popularity of plant-derived ingredients and products is likely being driven by growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics according to Innova Market Insights. Plant proteins, active botanicals, sweeteners, herbs, seasonings and colouring foodstuffs are all showing growth.

“The dairy alternatives market has been a particular beneficiary of this trend with the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines, specifically milk beverages and cultured products such as yoghurt, frozen desserts and ice-cream,” said Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, Lu Ann Williams.

The dairy alternatives category was largely pioneered by and continues to be led by beverages. Global sales of dairy alternative drinks are set to reach US$16.3bn in 2018 and they accounted for over 8% of global dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2017, up from 7% over 2016. Actual global launches have more than doubled over a five-year period.

Spoonable non-dairy yoghurt has also seen strongly rising levels of interest, but from a smaller base, with a 48% CAGR for the 2013–2017 period taking its share of dairy launches from less than 0.5% in 2012 to 1.5% in 2017. Consumer research is showing one in three US consumers have increased their consumption of plant-based milk/yoghurt in the two years to the end of 2017.

The dairy alternatives have extended beyond the traditional soy plant-based ingredients to include products based on rice, oats, barley, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, macadamias, coconut lupin, hemp and flaxseed.

In the meat substitutes market, global sales are set to grow to US$4.2bn by 2022. The range of ingredients used for meat substitutes includes vegetables and grains, as well as traditional sources such as soy and specialist manufactured brands such as Quorn and Valess.

Gravitation towards plant-based diets in general, along with interest in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles and concerns over animal welfare, have together served to increase interest and new product development has subsequently seen an 11% CAGR for the 2013–2017 period. Research also indicates that four in ten US consumers increased their consumption of meat substitutes/alternatives during 2017.

Image credit: © Kiselev

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