Rising consumer awareness about the role diet plays in both human and environmental health has driven enormous growth in the demand for plant-based alternatives in recent years. From 2018 to 2022, the number of new food and drink launches carrying a plant-based claim soared by 302% globally, as consumers sought out healthier and more sustainable alternatives to animal-based products, Mintel data shows.
The growing demand for plant-based products from not only vegan and vegetarian consumers, but also carnivores and flexitarians, is driving innovation and growth in the meat and fish analogue sector. From soy, legumes, and grains to seaweed, mushrooms, and microbial protein, manufacturers are making use of a rich new catalogue of ingredients to mimic the taste and texture of conventional animal-based products. At the same time, technologies including cell cultivated meat, precision fermentation, and 3D printing are bridging the gap between animal- and plant-based.
A staggering 65% of consumers worldwide are actively looking to increase their protein intake in the years ahead, according to FMCG Gurus. The shift towards plant-based diets is not only driven by changing consumer demands, but also by the growing challenge of sustainably producing enough food to feed a growing population, without costing the earth. Animal agriculture currently accounts for 60% of the planet’s ice-free land and almost 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows.
Above all, taste is the key purchase driver of plant-based products. Data from FMCG Gurus shows that for 82% of consumers it is important that plant-based products taste the same as real meat. Additionally, three quarters want alternatives to mimic the texture and appearance of the original.
How can manufacturers create meat and fish alternatives that deliver the sensory attributes to rival their traditional counterparts?
The next edition of the Fi Global Webinar series, Plant-based meat and fish alternatives: Taste and texture, will seek to solve this challenge. Join us, along with two leading industry experts, on 10 October 2023 from 11:00 – 12:30 CEST as we uncover opportunities and navigate the challenges of the ever-evolving plant-based meat and fish sector.
What can attendees expect?
Dr Steven Cornet, project manager of plant protein technology at NIZO will uncover the product development secrets behind creating desirable plant-based foods that meet consumer expectations. In his presentation, Cornet will take a deep dive into several strategies to improve the sensory appeal of plant-based alternatives and will share his take on the latest and most promising product development trends.
Emma Schofield, associate director of global food science at Mintel will explore how health and sustainability considerations are reshaping consumer diets and driving innovation in the plant-based space. Sharing her learnings on shifting consumer demands, Schofield will discuss what attributes plant-based manufacturers should focus on if they are to succeed in the competitive alternatives marketplace.
The webinar will also feature a live Q&A during which Cornet, Schofield, and Elizabeth Draper, senior content editor at Fi Global, will discuss what brands can do to overcome key product development challenges in fulfilling consumer demand.
Register for free here to secure your spot and be part of this essential discussion.