Trends Driving Plant-Based Food Innovation

As consumers look to expand their palates with plant-based proteins, innovation and variety are the name of the game in 2022. Ingredients such as textured pea proteins, mung beans and seaweed are being utilized alongside soy to improve the taste and texture of meat analogues.

A running theme of “better for you, better for the planet” has taken over plant-based product development, as consumer awareness of the environmental impacts of the meat industry and marine ecosystem grows.

This trend is not only restricted to meal centres, with traditional meat snacks also getting a plant-based makeover too, with unique items such as vegan jerky (Germany), lentil and bean pretzels (US) and mushroom crackers (Brazil) making their way onto retail shelves.

3 insights to discover

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Culinary inspiration

Get inspired by these on-trend concepts created by our chefs from North & East Europe.

Plant based Kofta skewer 

With the BBQ season fast approaching, why should meat eaters have all the fun? This delicious plant based skewer combines a vegan meatballs with a Lebanese oil marinade, halloumi, mixed bell peppers and dried apricots.

Plant based pork style rib sandwich

This appetizing sandwich has been created by our chefs to hero a Smokey Kentucky BBQ glazed rib, garnished with burned corn, mustard and poppy caviar, and served with coleslaw.

Veggie Coated Nuts

Our Veggie Coated Nuts are a unique combination of vegetables and nuts. Combining healthy fibres and fats, these tasty treats can be included as healthier snacks in a balanced diet. Oven baked or fried, our patented coating composition is derived from 20% dehydrated vegetable powder which delivers significant extra fibre and a signature crunch.

Vegan Chicken Tenders 

Why not try our vegan chicken tacos garnished with mango, lettuce, tomato and coriander. The substrate is glazed with a distinctly sweet Asian style marinade which combines beautifully with the sweet and spicy mango chutney.

Steamed Bao Bun 

This Asian inspired concept contains a vegetarian beef patty with 5 spice seasoning. It is topped with a Cherry hoisin sauce. As garnishment, our chefs propose cole slaw, crispy onions and sesame providing a sensational variety of textures.

Neverfry chickless doughnuts

These colourful chickenless donuts are coated with our innovative never-fry vegetable based coating systems paired with seasonings: Pesto-Spinach, BBQ-Beetrot and Curry-Carrot. Eager to know more about this innovation? Reach out to us!

Retail launches inspiration

Squeaky Bean (UK) focuses on offering both sustainable and craveable meat alternatives such as the recent launch of 3 new sandwich meat offerings, to address the gap in the vegan market of pre-sliced deli meat products.

Healthy Treat Roasted Masala Chana Dal (India) are pulses seasoned with dry mango powder, black salt, chili powder, and Himalayan salt. It is a perfect teatime snack and can be munched on at any time of the day.

Daring Foods (US) stands out amongst the crowded plant-based meat segment by its minimally processed nature and short ingredient list: water, soy, sunflower oil, salt, and natural flavoring.

Tivall (Israel) has recently launched the Tofu Crunch series, a range that includes Spicy chili tofu crunch with a crunchy texture as well as an exploding addition of flavor and spiciness.

Leveraging Pulses: Brands like Free Yu (Colombia) and Bean Fields (Costa Rica) are using pulses in formulations to create satiating snacks with plant-based protein.

Pulmone Plant Protein Roasted High Protein Tofu Cubes with Rosemary (South Korea) are bite sized and roasted with black pepper and rosemary salt. They contain 18g protein.

Food service inspiration

Souvla (US)

A Greek fast casual food chain in San Francisco, recently became the first Greek restaurant in the US to serve vegan lamb. The vegan lamb is made of pea-protein and patent-pending flavor compounds, mimicking the taste and texture of actual lamb.

BlueNalu (US)

A cell-based aquaculture seafood producer is addressing over-fishing and the global marine deficit by using fish cells to grow seafood in a lab. The brand is testing its products in foodservice locations before expanding into retail.

Redefine Meat (Israel)

It has launched its 3D-printed meat alternatives in the Israel foodservice scene. The brand is extending into unique, hard to replicate formats such as hanger steak using a proprietary technology developed through studying meat’s complex structure down to its molecular composition.

V-Honest Burgers (UK)

Honest Burger has opened its first fully vegan burger restaurant. The menu has vegan versions of the Honest and the Tribute as well as new flavours to choose from including Pesto & Buffalo.
In the rest of the restaurants they also provide vegetarian & vegan options.

Wagamama’s Tempura F-ish + Bang Bang Yaki-imo (UK)

Plant-based fish isn’t just something you can find in supermarkets and cafe’s now – Wagamama’s are serving up a Japanese-inspired take on the classic fish & chips, served in newspaper and all!

Griffith Foods Alternative Protein Experts Vision

As consumer demand and manufacturing capacity continues to expand, plant-based alternatives will take even more space on our retail shelves. Consumers will have a wider range of products to choose from, making it even more crucial to ‘stand out in the crowd’ and to understand consumers’ expectations in terms of visual appeal, cooking experience, and eating experience. Especially getting to the ultimate culinary eating experience, with an outstanding taste and texture profile, will be key to being successful in this market – Jaume Cirera, Alternative Protein Market Segment Manager, Griffith Foods Europe.

Even as the plant-based protein market will become more mainstream, it will remain very dynamic in terms of R&D developments and the range of products on offer. Ever better products will be developed to appeal to different types of consumers, whether they are meat-lovers, flexitarians, or vegans. Increasingly, ingredient labelling and nutrition, as well as sustainability credentials, will determine consumers’ choices, opening the avenue for plant-based alternatives that are no longer trying to mimic animal protein products – Joke Putseys, R&D Manager Alternative Protein, Griffith Foods Europe

What’s Next for Alternative Proteins?

With the global population projected to reach 10 billion by 2050, alternative protein represents a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way of feeding the world. Plant-derived ingredients, meat analogues, fermented foods and insect protein are just some of the possibilities.

Discover how Griffith Foods is exploring these emerging ingredients, innovative processes and changing consumer preferences in our latest white paper, “Now, Next, Future.”

© 2022 Griffith Foods. All rights reserved.
Source: Mintel, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022.

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