Plant-Based Isn’t Permission for Ultra-Processing
The perception of plant-based is that it’s healthier and more sustainable, yet many products with plant-based callouts include hyperprocessed sugars, grains and omega-6 oils while lacking antioxidants and polyphenols found in actual plants. With a plethora of non-health-supportive ingredients claiming the plant-based attribute, does the callout require further definition?
It’s quite clear that plant-based products will continue to rise throughout 2019, but long-term success requires understanding consumer permission when it comes to processing and ingredients. Nielsen found sales of plant-based foods grew an impressive 20 percent in the year ending June 2018 to $3.3 billion — but as more consumers are scrutinizing ingredient lists, it’s likely trust will diminish and the callout may go the way of natural. With plant-rich foods continuing to rise in interest, we anticipate greater scrutiny of ingredients and processing methods.
One way to ensure long-term success in the plant-based category is to incorporate more actual veggies, fruit and botanicals and authentic prep methods (such as fermentation to coax real and natural flavors) that go beyond fortifying with isolated pea protein as a plant-based afterthought.
Bottom line: If your product is claiming plant-based, be sure its contents are health-supportive.
Get the most in-depth understanding of the plant-based-foods trend with The Hartman Group’s Food and Technology: From Lab-Grown to Plant-Based syndicated research. Learn more