The first major food company to join the PBFA – which was launched in March 2016 and has 80+ members including Miyoko’s Kitchen, Califia Farms, and Quorn – Campbell Soup recently launched a new line of plant-based milks under its Bolthouse Farms brand, and said it hoped to work with the PBFA to “advance our shared goal of bringing more plant-based foods to consumers.”
Dairy Pride Act
The news was announced as The Good Food Institute, the PBFA and The Soyfoods Association of North America went to Washington to urge lawmakers to oppose the proposed federal bill, The Dairy Pride Act, which seeks to ban terms such as ‘soymilk’ and ‘coconut yogurt.’
The National Milk Producers Federation, which supports the bill, says Congress must act as the FDA continues to “turn a blind eye” as plant-based brands violate federal standards of identity (which limit the term ‘milk’ to lacteal secretions from cows).
The Good Food Institute, in turn, has urged the FDA to "provide clarity that such straightforward terms [eg. 'almondmilk,’ 'soymilk'] are acceptable” via a citizen’s petition filed in March 2017.
In a letter responding to the GFI petition in August, however, the FDA said it had not come to a decision on the matter owing to “competing priorities.”
US retail sales of plant-based foods and beverages rose 8.1% to $3.1bn in the 52 weeks to August 12, according to Nielsen data compiled for the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute.
Sales of plant-based ‘milk’ were up 3.1% (whereas cow’s milk sales were down 5%); sales of plant-based dairy alternatives excluding milk (eg. cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams, etc) were up 20% to $727m – within which sales of plant-based yogurts were up 56% and sales of plant-based cheese were up 18.9%; and sales of plant-based meat were up 6% overall, with refrigerated plant-based meats up 23%.
* The data covers sales in Nielsen’s expanded All Outlets Combined (AOC) channel, which include grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, dollar stores, and military stores, plus Whole Foods. It does not include c-stores and some natural channel retailers such as Sprouts or Fresh Thyme. Read more HERE.
The stated mission of the Plant Based Foods Association is: “To ensure a fair and competitive marketplace for businesses selling plant-based foods intended to replace animal products such as meats, dairy, and eggs, by promoting policies and practices that improve conditions in the plant-based foods industry, and educating consumers about the benefits of plant-based foods.”
It aims to:
- Engage in education, public relations, and media outreach to increase visibility for plant-based foods and boost consumer acceptance;
- Eliminate policies and practices that place plant-based meats, milks, eggs, and butters at an economic disadvantage, such as labeling restrictions;
- Change the debate on important public policy issues such as the dietary guidelines.