Plant-Based Innovations Changing the Future of Food, While Catering to Flexitarians

Plant-based protein has morphed into so much more than a trend, it's a movement that is boosting the massive growth of the Vegan market. 

Vegan burger

According to our Foodable Labs data, 78.4% of the top foodie influencers that we have indexed mentioned vegan menus, which was a 309% increase from 2016 to 2017. Also, concepts in the health halo sector have increased their vegan menu offerings by 211% in 2017. 

According to Nestlé, the plant-based food market is expected to reach $5.2 billion worldwide by 2020. 

While veggie burger companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger continue to gain momentum in the market, plant-based snacks are also on the rise. 

Plant-based burgers aren't only attractive to vegans and vegetarians either. There's a reason they look very similar to a meat burger patty.

"Key consumers will be the so-called flexitarians, people who want to reduce meat consumption in their daily eating habits, but don’t want to miss the texture by using meat analog," said Florian Bark, product manager at Hydrosol to "FoodIngredientsFirst." 

With that in mind, companies are developing innovative formulas to mimic the texture of real meat. 

“First an emulsion is made with HydroTOP High Gel 30, oil and water, which stabilizes the texturate. This gives a compact, formable mass comparable to bound ground meat. This meat substitute mass can be seasoned to taste and produced on conventional machines like cutters or mixers, and then shaped as desired in conventional molding machines,” said Dr. Carsten Carstens, Innovation & Product Manager for meat products at Hydrosol to "FoodIngredientsFirst." 

But burgers are just the beginning, there's so much potential in the market to develop other plant-based products mimicking meat favorites of consumers. 

“With the stabilizing system HydroTOP High Gel 30, a wide range of products are possible to produce. For example, Vegan Nuggets, Chicken Nuggets, and Vegan Filet strips can also be produced, using this technology,” said Bark. 

Read more about the plant-based innovations at "FoodIngredientsFirst."