With the deadline for the World Plant-Based Awards 2020 fast approaching, FoodBev has provided a breakdown of the types of products we can expect to see in some of this year’s categories, which will hopefully provide some inspiration.
Best milk alternative
According to a recent report by Research and Markets, milk substitutes dominate the global dairy alternative market. Whilst soy, almond, oat and coconut are consumed most, there are many others, such as cashew, hemp, quinoa and macadamia that are disrupting this category. With intolerances and allergies on the rise, health and wellbeing are driving demand. Innovation often lies in functional alternatives that offer clear health benefits, such as protein content or nutrient and vitamin blends.
Best dairy product alternative
From coconut-based cheeses, ice-creams made from avocado to nut-milk yogurts, this category will host an array of plant-based innovation. Keep an eye out for a wide range of sources, such as nuts, tofu or rice used in a variety of applications to mimic our much-loved dairy staples.
Best meat alternative
With the global meat alternative market booming, we can expect to see conventional ingredients used in new ways. For example, the tofu market has shown recent growth in innovation, with new variants appearing on supermarket shelves. Some other soy-based proteins are now even being manipulated to replicate the taste and texture of ‘bleeding’ or ‘fatty’ meats.
Vegetable proteins are gaining momentum, with jackfruit and pea increasingly used to create burger patties, sausages and ground or minced meat equivalents. Seitan, a high-protein, low-carb alternative derived from wheat gluten, is growing at the fastest rate within this category.
Best plant-based beverage
Whilst milk alternatives dominate the plant-based beverage category, other drinks, such as protein shakes, probiotic drinks, and cold-pressed juices are making an appearance. It is clear that health and wellness is a recurring theme across the plant-based industry.
Historically, protein products were typically derived from dairy proteins, so now, much like the meat alternative sector, vegetable proteins are being used to emulate their dairy equivalent’s health benefits. Expect to see beverages derived from plants that offer enhanced health and functional benefits, too.
Best plant-based condiment
Typically go-to sauces and dressings, such as mayonnaise or caesar, often contain egg, so are often not suitable for vegans. Condiments are arguably some of the most fundamental products for a consumer’s pantry, so innovation in this category is crucial for many. Look out for new flavour blends, unusual ingredients and creative egg-substitutes.
Best plant-based dessert/confectionery
In the past, desserts and confectionery have often been the products of dairy, eggs and gelatin. Replicating these flavours and textures from plant-based ingredients is highly desirable and many major companies are rising to the growing demand. Watch as a variety of plant-milks are incorporated into frozen and ambient desserts alike and marketed as ‘better-for-you,’ whilst offering functional benefits, too.
Best plant-based functional product
Functionality lies hand in hand with the health and wellness trend that has emerged across all categories of the food and beverage industry in recent years. Natural ingredients with energising properties, such as yerba mate and matcha, are being increasingly utilised, whilst other plant-derived sources, such as hemp and CBD, are promoted as ‘calming.’ Look out for more obscure blends using new flavours and natural ingredients to promote positive health effects and general wellness.
Best plant-based seafood
The array of seafood alternatives is still fairly limited, so this category holds a great deal of potential. A whole host of vegetable-based ingredients are being trialled to replicate the flaky consistency of typical seafood, whilst seaweed and algae variants are popular flavourings used to produce a ‘fishy’ taste.
Best plant-based snack
Snacking in the plant-based industry is ever-evolving. Ingredients like soy and nut are falling behind other protein substitutes in the snacking sector as many brands are opting for alternatives. Expect to see flours made from hempseed, mungbean and pea in cookies, cakes and snack bars. Dried fruit and vegetable crisps, popped seeds and vegan jerky are just a few of many plant-derived snacks which seem to all share the common theme of heightened consumer convenience.
Best plant-based packaging
Much like the rise in plant-based food and drink, we are seeing increased innovation in the packaging industry to accommodate the inevitable transition from plastic to more sustainable resources.
From edible packaging to components such as banana, bamboo and sugarcane, this is certainly a category with vast potential. Common themes to watch out for include zero-waste, non-polluting, compostable and products derived from renewable sources.
Best plant-based non-food product
Not only are consumers turning to plant-based food and beverage products, but are pushing demand for natural and cruelty-free cosmetics, clothing and household items. Cleaning products, along with cosmetics, are notorious for the mistreatment of animals along the product life cycle. As a result, many companies are using plant-based ingredients, such as arrowroot powder, coconut and tapioca starch to replace these essential household products. Those that deliver a unique proposition, with ethical and clean-label methods, are most likely to stand out from the competition.
Have you got a plant-based alternative that is innovative and award-worthy? Enter our World Plant-Based Awards 2020 now and ensure it gains global recognition.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023